CORNELIUS, N.C. -- Cornelius police are investigating a disturbing animal cruelty case.

Detectives arrested 41-year-old Aimee Cook on more than a dozen charges of animal cruelty.

Police say Cook apparently tried to find a no-kill shelter for 14 cats. But when she couldn't find one, police say she poisoned the animals and left them in a suitcase near a dumpster.

"I mean, it's completely horrifying, makes me nervous that something like that could be going on, and you have no idea,” said Lila Skropeta, a neighbor.

Neighbors couldn’t believe it once they realized why police were called to the apartment complex.

"You worry that someone who does those kind of things may hurt your animals,” said Skropeta.

According to the police report, Cook tried to take her cats to a no-kill shelter after becoming “overwhelmed” by all the unplanned litters. She claims the shelters wouldn’t take her cats.

"There certainly were other options for her,” said Skropeta.

"I can understand where she'd take responsibility for her pets but that's just taking it really too far,” said Jason Antonic, a neighbor.

Now neighbors say they’ll be watchful of their own pets. Some also have a message for Cook.

"The fact that somebody has 14 cats would imply they love cats and then to all of a sudden one day decide to kill them. Sounds like she went off the deep end,” said Mike Johansen, a Cornelius resident.

Cornelius police say Cook did not go to the Cornelius Animal Shelter to drop cats off.

Court records indicate she's been arrested two other times in the past year for drunk driving and driving with a revoked license.