Case Snapshot
Case ID: 11131
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat
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Sunday, Feb 18, 2007

County: Providence

Disposition: Not Charged

Person of Interest: woman

Animal control officers didn't need a map when they got the complaint about cats on Cole Street.

They have been there, they have done that.

"The last time we were there, she promised me this wouldn't happen again," said Animal Control Supervisor John Holmes.

"I asked her why she had this many cats again. She looked at me and said: 'I'm a cat hoarder.'"

Holmes and Animal Control Officer Kevin Mooney took 11 cats out of a third floor apartment on Cole Street Saturday. They left behind an estimated 18 more.

It is an estimated number because the woman involved doesn't really know how many cats she has. Nor does she know how many cats are pregnant.

Holmes and Mooney spent their afternoon in the woman's home, picking up cats that are pregnant, sick or lacking vaccines for rabies. They also checked the papers on a dozen cats which the woman was determined to keep, Holmes said.

"She doesn't want to give them up," he said. "For us, that is the bottom line. Under the law, she doesn't have to turn them over. There is no legal limit to the number of cats you can have in your home."

Some of the cats, especially the kittens, suffered from being part of a cat crowd in the home, Holmes said. "All of the kittens we have taken out are sick," he said. "They all have upper respiratory illness. That is an illness that spreads very quickly, so we have them out and in quarantine."

The sick cats are being treated by a veterinarian. The pregnant cats are being well fed and pampered. The city is trying to convince the woman that two dozen plus cats in a third floor apartment is too many.

"You can smell the home as soon as you get near it," Holmes said. "The litter boxes are overflowing. One of our real concerns is that there are also children in that home."

The city requires that cats be vaccinated for rabies, that the females be spayed and the males be neutered. If the Cole Street woman can't produce paperwork to prove she satisfied those requirements, the cats that have not been immunized or fixed will be seized, Holmes said.


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