NEWARK - An Essex County animal shelter says a woman dropped off dozens of cats on its doorstep, all crammed into five small crates.

Associated Humane Societies of Newark says the crates contained 42 cats and kittens, many of them suffering from eye and respiratory infections. 

AHS says one of its drivers caught the woman last night, leaving the animals outside the Evergreen Avenue shelter after it had closed.

When she refused to fill out any paperwork to properly surrender the cats or even provide her name, the driver snapped some pictures. 

The agency is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the woman's arrest and conviction.

"It isn't fair to these guys in any way shape or form, says Scott Crawford. "We don't mind taking them in. We don't mind the extra workload; that's why we're here as a humane society."

AHS says it normally charges a $40 surrender fee for each animal it takes in, but can waive the fee in cases of financial hardship. 

The organization says the woman could face charges of animal cruelty. 

The cats will be nursed back to health and should be available for adoption.