HOUSE SPRINGS (KMOV.com) – For several days, a massive rescue effort has been underway at the home of murdered KKK leader Frank Ancona’s house.
His wife, Malissa Ancona, and stepson, Paul Jinkerson, are charged with his murder. But Malissa Ancona also operated an unlicensed animal rescue inside the couple’s Leadwood, Mo. home.
After the news of her arrest broke, rescue groups across the St. Louis area came together to help rescue more than 45 cats inside the house.
“That was more than a little strange to go in that house because that was the scene of where everything happened and it hasn’t been cleaned up,” said Lalita Creighton with Midwest Community Cat Alliance.
Creighton and nearly a dozen rescue groups were granted access to the crime scene by police and by the Ancona family to rescue the animals inside. They said there was evidence from the murder still obvious inside the home.
“I can’t imagine what these poor cats have been through, what they were living in was not good,” said Stacey Kinsey with Open Door Sanctuary in Jefferson County.
Kinsey said the conditions inside the Ancona home were appalling. There were litter boxes, but there was animal feces on the floor and just a few food dishes.
On Sunday, just hours before her arrest, Malissa Ancona told News 4 about her animal rescue as dozens of cats roamed in her front yard.
Malissa Ancona did not have a license to operate a rescue, but she was often posting on Facebook about rescuing animals and needing help with donations.
Eleven of the cats are now at the Open Door Sanctuary where they are being checked out. Most of the animals appeared well-fed but not all were healthy.
“There were a couple picked up Sunday night because they were very ill and needed medical attention,” said Creighton.
The cats will be treated and could be available for adoption in a couple weeks.
Creighton says anyone interested in adopting the cats can contact Open Door Sanctuary. All of the rescues involved are no-kill and foster-based groups. They are always in need of donations to help when there are emergency situations. You can find information on donating on their website