BOCA RATON - Allison Dinsmore, a special education teacher facing felony animal cruelty charges in the starving deaths of her two cats, told Boca Raton police she just "lost track of time."
The State Attorney's Office released a report Monday detailing her case, including her written statement and a veterinarian's conclusion that the cats died more than a month before they were discovered.
"I lost track of time and was informed by my parents about the condition of the apartment and the death of the cats," Dinsmore wrote in a witness statement form Feb. 27.
She said that she last visited her apartment in early February and left food, water and a clean litter box for her pets and intended to return within a few days.
But her cats were discovered dead Feb. 23 by the apartment complex manager of Boca Sol, in the 200 block of Northeast 20th Street. The alarmed manager, who was looking for rent money, called police.
Dinsmore, 26, has been charged with two counts of felony cruelty to animals. She was reassigned from her teaching post at Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach to a role where she has no contact with students pending a personnel investigation by the Palm Beach County School District.
Police found empty feeding dishes on the floor and a kitchen that appeared ransacked with a cat lying on the bottom shelf of an open cabinet. The other animal was discovered in the living room partly beneath an entertainment center.
A memo from the veterinarian who examined the cats' remains revealed that one of the black and brown tiger-patterned felines was found collapsed on top of a plate infested with maggots and flies. It was decomposed. The second cat had similarly decayed.
The veterinarian determined the cats' cause of death was starvation and dehydration. Dinsmore told police she thought about her pets while she stayed with her boyfriend in Greenacres, but she did not get a chance to go home to care for them.
"I spent the next few weeks working long hours and staying at my boyfriend's house which is closer to my work," she wrote.
Her attorney Jordan Lewin was not available to comment. He has said that Dinsmore was a victim of abuse herself and that her former apartment presented a zone of danger.
If convicted, Dinsmore faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count.