Columbia woman indicted on 69 charges in animal deaths case

A Columbia woman accused of cruelty after 40 animals were found dead inside her home was indicted March 14 by a Howard County Grand Jury.

Elizabeth Lindenau, 40, now of the 9400 block of Hundred Drums Row, is facing 69 criminal charges — 24 counts of animal cruelty, 21 counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 24 counts of failure to provide for an animal, according to online court records.


A warrant for her arrest was issued March 15. She is free on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Howard County Circuit Court on April 20.

County police were called Jan. 16 to the 9600 block of Lambeth Court, where Lindenau had lived, after the property manager called about odors coming from inside.

Animal Control officers subsequently found 19 dead animals in a freezer — birds, rabbits, a guinea pig and a hermit crab, plus another 21 dead animals in cages and loose elsewhere, including birds, cats, rabbits and a snake, police said.

There was no food or water in the cages, nor was it available to those that were loose, police said. While there was pet food inside, it was not accessible to the animals. Also, the power and heat had been turned off.

Four animals — two cats, a bearded dragon lizard and a gerbil — were rescued alive and put up for adoption, police said.

Neighbors gave varying timelines for how long the residents at the Lambeth Court address had been gone. Police said the residents had been renting the home.

Investigators eventually found Lindenau in another house in Columbia with a large number of animals, dogs and cats and birds that police said appeared to have sufficient food and water and were being cared for.

Lindenau has been listed as the executive director of The Bailey Foundation, an organization with a Columbia mailing address that rescues, rehabilitates and adopts out birds, according to its website. The foundation has not returned calls seeking comment.