Holland Woman Admits to Hoarding Cats

Posted at 9:31 AM, Jul 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-07 09:32:35-04

HOLLAND, Mich. – A woman from Holland admitted to having more cats than she could handle.

She didn’t want to be identified but agreed to tell her story. She moved out of her mobile home at Windmill Homes a couple of months ago when the infestation got out of control.

However, she said she comes back to take care of them almost every day. She said she`s owned cats since 1995 but just a couple of them. She said she went through a divorce and into depression. Neighbors believe that’s why she started hoarding. In recent years, the number of cats just kept increasing. This week, she said three of them died.

“I just let it get out of control,” she said.

She didn`t allow us or our camera in because of the smell and the number of fleas. Just three days ago, she said she reached out to a neighbor. She even wrote a letter explaining that she was in over her head. A couple of neighbors called animal rescues and Ottawa County Animal Control this week, however nothing was happening.

While FOX 17 was at the woman’s home, animal control pulled up. An officer went in with a hazmat suit to check out the conditions. He didn`t go too far in before coming right back out.

Ottawa County sergeant Greg Rotman was there to take the report. He said, “[There were] a lot of feces around, a lot of fleas. Apparently the cats are covered in fleas.”

Rotman said all of the cats will be removed. Now that the sheriff’s department is involved, FOX 17 asked if the owner will face a penalty.

“We would send it to the prosecutor, but it sounds like it`s not something that she`s intending to do. [It] probably just got a little bit out control for her. It`d be sent to the prosecutor, and they`d make a determination on that,” Rotman explained.

The sheriff’s department called an animal rescue. They removed 15 cats from the home Saturday night, and we’re told the owner will need to catch the other seven.