The woman who kept hundreds of cats in her home in Birmingham and later at her father's home in St. Joseph County has turned herself in to be charged with felony animal neglect.
Police in Three Rivers say a third home is now involved in their small town with 40 cats that have been removed. Police say that home belongs to a boyfriend.
Diane Pitone lived at a home on Chapin Street just east of Woodward in Birmingham until May. She then moved in with her elderly father who is in his 80s and took the cats with her.
Pictures from inside that house show deplorable conditions. Her father had to move out. Investigators in that case say he was cooperating but she was not.
In summary, Birmingham Code Enforcement officers confirmed the violation on Chapin Street, cited it, and returned to confirm the cats were being relocated and that debris was being removed from the property.
Below is more detailed information regarding this case:
The City of Birmingham received reports of boxes and miscellaneous trash on the front porch of the home on Chapin Street in February of 2019. Code enforcement immediately visited the home and issued a violation stating all trash and debris must be cleaned up from the porch and yard. Code enforcement returned less than one week later and found that all boxes and trash had been removed.
In April of this year, the City received complaints of cats being hoarded at the home on Chapin. Code enforcement officers observed five cats at the residence and multiple boxes and debris in the backyard. The homeowner was issued a violation notice for the container-filled yard and harboring more than three cats. Code enforcement returned less than one week later and found the yard had been cleaned up and the cats were being relocated. Code enforcement followed up several more times over the next month to ensure the cats were relocated. When the home had a gas explosion on May 26, 2020, there were no cats in the home and two cats in the garage.