John Price and Kathleen Price, both of Norcross, are charged with cruelty to animals. Kathleen Price is also charged with exploitation of an elder person.
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

Cops: 14 dogs rescued after Gwinnett home declared health hazard

A Norcross home was declared a health hazard after police found the floors covered in feces and urine from 14 dogs.

The home’s state was discovered when a Gwinnett County police officer was serving a warrant on a completely separate charge, Sgt. Jake Smith said.

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A detective had been investigating Kathleen Price on allegations of exploiting an elderly person since January. Price allegedly coerced a 71-year-old neighbor into withdrawing $500,000 from her bank in installments between $1,000 and $10,000. One withdrawal for $100,000 was allegedly for a wooden fence, but that is significantly more than the cost of an average wooden fence, Smith said. 

“You could build a house or a brick wall for that amount,” Smith said.

The woman, who lives alone on the same street as the Prices, does not have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a known diminished mental capacity, Smith said. 

The lead detective on the case was able to obtain a warrant for Kathleen Price’s arrest on May 31. When he went to her Norcross home that day, he found her, husband John Price and their 14 dogs in “deplorable” conditions, a police report says. 

The home’s floors were covered in dog feces and urine, Smith said. The ammonia levels from the dog waste were so high that it was unsafe for humans or animals, he said. The Gwinnett County Health Department declared the home a health hazard and put a sign on the front door declaring it unsafe. 

Kathleen and John Price were arrested and the 14 dogs were taken into the custody of Gwinnett County Animal Welfare.

Kathleen Price has been charged with exploiting an elder person and cruelty to animals. John Price has been charged with cruelty to animals. John Price has been released on $1,300 bond and Kathleen Price is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Detention Center. 

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The storm damaged dozens of homes.

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