Marlene Kess, founder of Kitty Kind, a high-profile NYC no-kill cat shelter, has been charged with multiple animal-welfare and health-code violations after authorities discovered more than 200 decomposing cat corpses at her home in suburban New Jersey. Details aren't clear so far, but it appears she took many sick cats into her personal home to care for them if Kitty Kind was unable to place them. She said the deaths overtook her ability to dispose of the bodies, so she began storing them in plastic bags in her backyard - and had begun digging a hole to bury them in. In addition to the dead cats, Kess had 48 live cats in her home. According to the Star-Ledger:
... the SPCA charged her with 38 counts of failing to properly shelter cats. The counts stem from the cats being locked together in a front room. Some of the cats were healthy, while others were ill. Under state regulations, anyone keeping large numbers of animals must separate the sick from the healthy.
It is unclear what specific connection the animals at Kess' home have to Kitty Kind, but if you are interested in their good work, their site explains how to help. Hopefully this is just a case of a well-intentioned person catching crazy cat lady syndrome, and allowing those good intentions to balloon out of control. Keeping large numbers of animals is not healthy for the pets nor their caretakers. Check with your local ASPCA affiliate for help.