A microchip in a dead dog helped lead investigators to the woman who left it and two others to perish in a South Side home that was foreclosed upon twice, police said Saturday night.
Carla Smith, 44, of the 8100 block of South Shore Drive was charged with a number of animal abuse counts today after a neighbor had alerted authorities earlier this week to a putrid smell and a swarm of flies outside the home in the 8200 block of South Rhodes Avenue.
Neighbors had noticed the woman who had rented the two-story brick Chatham house had stopped coming by and they no longer heard the dogs barking.
Inside the home on June 1 city Animal Care and Control officers found three dead dogs and four emaciated and dehydrated dogs, including a Chihuahua, a Chinese crested, a pit bull terrier and a severely malnourished Rottweiler/Doberman pinscher mix.
Smith, who turned herself in Saturday, was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals, misdemeanor cruelty to animals and violation of animal owners duties.
Police said the Animal Crimes team was able to identify Smith by information on a microchip implanted in one of the deceased dogs, as well as through talks with neighbors.
Smith was scheduled to appear in court this past Sunday.