Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14853
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull), captive exotic, reptile, rodent/small mammal (pet)
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Defense(s): Bucky Buchanan

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008

County: Clark

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Stacey Williams

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Las Vegas animal control officials are still searching for the owner of several animals found last month in a foreclosed home in The Lakes subdivision in the western Las Vegas Valley.

When deputies entered the home Oct. 22 to issue an eviction notice, they were shocked at what they found inside - 15 dogs, six cats, three turtles, more than 100 Madagascar cockroaches, a snake, a ferret, several mice and gerbils. The home also had rodents and hundreds of cockroaches.

A woman who said she was renting the home, on Whittier Court, was still living in the house and was evicted.

Once the owners of the animals are identified, more than 40 charges could be filed by the city, said Diana Paul, spokeswoman for the city of Las Vegas. Officials said the woman who rented the home may have owned some or all of the animals and that their exact ownership is still under investigation.

The floors and carpets in the home were covered in feces and urine, she said.

"The conditions inside the home were deplorable, but the animals were in surprisingly good condition," Paul said.

The animals are now at the Lied Animal Shelter. Two of the seized animals were euthanized due to illness, Jim Seitz, co-director of operations at the Lied Animal Shelter, said today.

Madagascar cockroaches - also known as "hissing roaches" due to their distinctive hissing sound - can reach 3 inches in length and are among the largest cockroaches in the world.

The insects and reptiles were in enclosed pens, but the rest of the animals were roaming around the house, Seitz said. The 15 dogs included two Great Danes, a Saint Bernard, a Rottweiler and several pit bulls.

"There were two minor injuries, but overall the animals seemed to be well-fed despite the filth in the house," he said.

The animals are being temporarily housed at the shelter until they can be relocated. They could be destroyed if they are not reclaimed or adopted.

"It was like someone abandoned a zoo or a pet shop. I've seen homes where there were lots of cats inside, but it was unusual to see such a wide variety of animals come out of one location," Seitz said.

According to city of Las Vegas regulations, no more than three dogs or three cats are allowed in a household, Paul said.

"We want to remind the public that if they believe their neighbors have more than the allowed amount of dogs or cats to please call the city of Las Vegas Animal Control," Paul said. "This was a terrible situation, but thankfully the animals were in good condition."

City of Las Vegas Animal Control can be reached at 229-6348.

Case Updates

This foreclosure crisis has brought along with it some unexpected victims - animals, reptiles, and even some insects. The case that local officials call the most disturbing one of all could finally be coming to an end. And not just an end, but an expensive end.

The City of Las Vegas says it cost the Lied Animal Shelter nearly $25,000 to care for the animals that the shelter has been housing for more than four months.

Marie Zamarripa is in charge of caring for the exotic animals pulled out the home. It was October 22, 2008 when animal control officers were called to a foreclosed home on Whittier Avenue in The Lakes. Inside they found filth and dozens of animals - cats, dogs, goldfish, a ferret, a guinea pig, a yellow corn snake and, yes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

"It is extremely unusual. We have never had this many animals come in from one location," said Gordon Smith from Lied Animal Shelter.

Normally, animals are put up for adoption within 72 hours of arriving at Lied, but the owner of these foreclosed animals, Stacey Williams, refused to sign them over to the shelter.

So last month, the city sent Williams a letter offering her to name people who would care for the animals as long as they paid the boarding and care fees. Add it all up and it comes to nearly $25,000.

Smith says situations like this are preventable, "Know your limitations. Know what you can take care of. Know what you can provide for, because it matters. If you have too much, you are not going to be able to take as good a care of 20 as you can of one."

The attorney for Stacey Williams, Bucky Buchanan, says his client does not plan to fight the order from the city putting the animals up for adoption. Williams has also been cited for two misdemeanors for having so many animals without the proper licenses.
Source: Las Vegas Now - March 5, 2009
Update posted on Mar 7, 2009 - 10:10PM 


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