Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16018
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat
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Wednesday, Dec 30, 2009

County: Laramie

Disposition: Not Charged

Person of Interest: 60 year old man

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Sheriff's deputies say animal control officers recovered 32 cats from a Cheyenne-area home where a man had threatened to kill himself.

The 60-year-old man told deputies he had about 50 cats and no longer could care for them, Laramie County Sheriff's Lt. Linda Gesell said Tuesday.

Gesell did not release the man's identity but said he voluntarily went to a hospital. She said animal cruelty charges hadn't been filed.

Gesell says the cats took over the house except for one room and the floors were matted with urine and feces. Rick Collord, director of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, says two cats died on the way to the shelter.

Collord says the Denver Dumb Friends League agreed to take some of the shelter's cats to help with the situation.

Case Updates

One day after Cheyenne Animal Control officers recovered 32 cats from a home on South Second Avenue, they were trapping cats at a second property owned by the same man.

Tuesday, officials became aware of the situation when the 60-year-old made suicidal threats and told a deputy he could no longer care for the cats. The floor was matted with feces and urine, and the man voluntarily went to the hospital.

Wednesday, officers found bigger challenges at the second property on Wenandy Avenue.

The house is vacant, its windows boarded up, and there is no electricity. Cats were seen in the half-light slipping into holes in the walls and into furniture. A neighbor said Tuesday he went to the home twice a day to feed the cats.

The floors were "completely covered" in filth, said shelter manager Rob Shank.

He counted more than 10 felines, but it is hard to say just how many there are, he said.

Because of the unsafe conditions of the house, officers removed the food left for them, and set up cat traps around the house. Shank said it would take at least a couple days to capture them all.

Because this is a suicide case, the man has not been identified. Shank said it has not been determined if he would be charged; Animal Control is still investigating.

"The primary concern is getting animals out of the environment before we do anything else," Shank said.

This is the second case in a month's time in which Animal Control has removed pets from a home described as filthy and unsafe. A month ago, officers removed six dogs and seven cats from a home with urine and feces on the floor.

Wyoming's animal cruelty law doesn't specifically say it is illegal to keep animals in unsanitary conditions.

The law defines animal cruelty as failing to provide food, drink and protection from the weather, as cruel abandonment, and as failing to provide care in illness and injury.
Source: Wyoming News - Dec 31, 2009
Update posted on Jan 2, 2010 - 7:02PM 


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