Case Snapshot
Case ID: 15866
Classification: Beating, Mutilation/Torture
Animal: cat
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Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009

County: Alameda

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: La Preda Thomas

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

An Oakland woman was in custody today after being charged with animal cruelty for allegedly abusing more than 15 cats and kittens over the course of several years.

La Preda Thomas, 33, repeatedly claimed that she had rescued cats with unusual injuries, including broken limbs, puncture wounds and, in one case, a severely injured eye. But Oakland animal-control officials believe she hurt the felines for some unknown reason.

Thomas was charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty. She is being held in lieu of $135,000 bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Thomas first came to the attention of Oakland Animal Services and several animal-rescue groups in 2006 when she was repeatedly found with cats or kittens with serious injuries. Many of the cats also had their claws crudely cut off, sometimes with portions of their toes removed, authorities said.

In one case in 2007, animal-control officials seized a group of kittens from Thomas' home that had been left in a cage in the hot sun with no water, authorities said. Two of the kittens each had a front leg that was completely broken in half in almost identical locations. Because Thomas was on probation for burglary, authorities searched her home in July and again in September. During the first search, officials rescued three kittens. Nearly every limb of each of these kittens had a fresh or healing break or fracture.

The second search of her home uncovered an injured female cat and her kitten. The cat had a badly broken front leg and shattered hip that will likely need surgery.

All the cats are healing and safe, authorities said. Radiology services were donated by the Montclair Veterinary Clinic, and Island Cat Resources and Adoption in Alameda helped to find foster homes for the cats.

Dr. Jyothi Robertson, veterinarian for Oakland Animal Services, said, "As a veterinarian, this is the first time I have seen so many severely malnourished animals with similar fractures coming from a single person claiming to be a rescuer."


Case Updates

An Oakland woman suspected of abusing more than 15 cats and kittens over the course of several years was ordered today to spend a year in a residential treatment center after pleading guilty to animal cruelty.

La Preda Thomas, 34, must undergo mental health and drug treatment at the center. She was also placed on probation for five years by Judge Morris Jacobson of Alameda County Superior Court.

The judge told Thomas she could not own any animals while she is on probation.

Thomas pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and had been in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since her arrest in October.

Thomas told authorities she rescued cats with unusual injuries, including broken limbs, puncture wounds and, in one case, a severely injured eye. But Oakland animal control officials believe she hurt the felines.

Thomas came to the attention of officials and animal rescue groups in 2006 when she was found with cats or kittens whose claws had been crudely cut off, sometimes with portions of their toes removed.

In 2007, animal-control officials seized kittens from Thomas' home that had been left in a cage in the hot sun with no water, authorities said. Two of the kittens each had a front leg that was broken in almost identical locations.

Because Thomas was on probation for burglary, authorities searched her home in July and again in September. They found kittens whose every limb was either freshly broken or healing from a fracture.

"This was torture," Oakland Animal Services Director Megan Webb said today. "These animals suffered tremendously."

All the cats taken from Thomas' home are healing and safe, authorities said.
Source: sfgate.com - Jun 2, 2010
Update posted on Jun 10, 2010 - 5:10PM 

References

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