JOHNSTON, Iowa – An arrest has been made in a case of animal neglect after 20 cats and kittens were found abandoned in a Johnston apartment in October.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which assisted with the October 4th rescue, described the conditions in the apartment as horrifying. The ARL said the apartment was filled with trash, feces, and cockroaches.

Melvin Carr, 37, was charged in the case on October 14th and was booked into the Polk County Jail on the evening of November 20th. The PCJ website said Carr is charged with multiple counts of animal neglect.

Court documents said Carr and his wife moved out of the apartment in the 6800 block of Gables Way in Johnston and left the cats behind.

Cats and kittens rescued from Johnston apartment on October 4, 2022. (Courtesy: Animal Rescue League of Iowa)

The ARL said one kitten, believed to be four to six weeks old, was found dead in the apartment. Criminal complaints in the case said after medical evaluations by the ARL of the remaining 19 cats, 15 of them were in good health and four of them were sick or injured.

Carr waived his preliminary hearing and is scheduled to be arraigned on January 5, 2023.

The Johnston Police Department is continuing to investigate.