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188 Cats Removed from Mobile Home

February 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I wish I could say this is rare but I prosecuted a case where a woman had over 100 dogs in her house.  Here’s the article that describes what happened while I was at the Region III conference in Minneapolis.  The attendees were showing me the story in the Star Tribune:

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/39409892.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUac8HEaDiaMDCinchO7DU

Thank heaven most of these uninhabitable houses don’t involve innocent animals, just trash and garbage.  These are very difficult cases to prosecute because many of the people do suffer from some type of mental illness, like obsessive/compulsive disorder or hoarding.  They admit they’re guilty but the real problem is getting compliance.  The times when I’ve had success is when the person likes the inspector assigned to the case, the court orders compliance,  and the inspector monitors the cleanup on a weekly or monthly basis, constantly setting goals for the next inspection.  I think by breaking down the cleanup task, it helps the defendant not feel so overwhelmed.  Because there is a court order, the defendant feels some pressure to work with the inspector.  If the offender is not cooperative, the inspector condemns the property as unfit for human habitation  and then issues tickets for the violations and for remaining in a condemned property.  It’s a very sorry situation, especially if children or animals are involved.  If there are children, child protective services have to be called by the inspector. Animal rescue groups will assist with removing animals.

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