A Deerfield woman wanted since November on eight counts of animal cruelty was apprehended Sunday after Palatine police stopped her for a traffic violation, according to Deerfield Police reports and Deputy Chief Rick Wilk.
Debra Jaffe, 42, of Deerfield, was charged Nov. 1 with eight counts of animal cruelty—two Class 4 felonies and six misdemeanors—but failed to surrender to Deerfield Police as agreed, according to Wilk. A warrant was then issued and she remained a fugitive until Sunday.
Jaffe was stopped by Palatine Police for a traffic violation Sunday, according to the report. During the course of the traffic stop, police learned she was wanted on the Deerfield warrant, was taken into custody and turned over to Deerfield police.
On Nov. 1, police received a communication from one of Jaffe’s former neighbors, that she had vacated her Chestnut Street residence “several weeks to several months ago” and there were one or two dogs inside the house, according to the report.
After police arrived at the property, they observed two small white dogs inside, one not responding to knocks on the door, according to the report. The “entire first floor area that could be seen was covered in feces from the dogs.”
Police determined no one was living in the house other than the dogs and ultimately forced entry with the help of the fire department to tend to the dogs, according to the report. One of the dogs was dead and the other in need of medical attention. A vet was contacted to take care of the animals.
Once inside the house, police found no food or water for the dogs and animal waste through the building, according to the report. The “smell in the house was overwhelming from the feces and urine.”
Police made contact with Jaffe at 11 p.m. Nov. 1, according to the report. She was informed of the charges, agreed to surrender and never did, according to Wilk. She was released after posting the $1,000 cash portion of a $10,000 bond and will appear in Lake County Court at 9 a.m. March 13 in Waukegan.