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60 neglected animals seized from Portland woman

Elicia DeAnn Diaz-Caceres, July 2018 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A total of 60 animals were seized from the home of a Portland woman over the span of several months — leading to her arrest Monday.

Elicia DeAnn Diaz-Caceres, 38, also known as Elicia Dawn Swiberg was arrested for 1st-degree animal neglect after authorities said they went to her home multiple times to seize animals from unsanitary conditions.

The investigation began March 21, 2018 when a search warrant was served at Diaz-Caceres’ home, located at 7317 SE 70th St. According to court documents, the responding officer recognized the address because she previously responded to multiple complaints of animal cruelty at the same location.

Multnomah County Animal Services seized and impounded 52 animals including 16 rabbits, 3 guinea pigs, a turtle, 4 parakeets, 9 cats, 3 kittens, 6 dogs and 10 puppies.

The woman who reported Diaz-Caceres to authorities wrote down what she witnessed on March 6.

Part of her written statement said, “The dogs would not stop barking, so she told me to take my dog, ‘Blackie’ into her room .The house reeked of cat urine and feces. The smell became more unbearable upon entering her bedroom.”

The witness also described seeing dogs and cats “crammed ” in cages, according to the documents.

MCAS returned back to Diaz-Caceres’ home several days later after learning she had 2 more dogs in her care. On June 11, 6 additional animals were also taken from her home including a cat, 3 kittens and 2 guinea pigs.

Court documents show that MCAS has an “extensive” case file regarding Diaz-Caceres dating back to 2002. The file shows Diaz-Caceres has repeatedly abused and neglected animals. In 2010, through MCAS administrative hearings process, she was ordered to not own or possess any animal in Multnomah County. However, MCAS has been called out to investigate Diaz-Caceres for failing to comply with the hearings officer’s finding on 9 separate occasions.

All of the animals, according to MCAS, are in protective custody in the shelter or in volunteer foster homes until the court makes a decision.

Diaz-Caceres was released from Multnomah County Jail on Monday on her own recognizance.