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3 accused of hoarding nearly 200 cats in Connecticut home, each charged with more than 100 animal cruelty

Three adults have been charged with more than 100 animal cruelty charges after nearly 200 cats were found in a home in Winchester, Connecticut, back in June, officials reported Thursday.

The Winchester Police Department said sixty-year-old James Thoman Jr., 53-year-old Laura Thoman and 30-year-old Marissa O’Brien were arrested on October 19 on 106 counts of animal cruelty. He was also charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Police said investigators also have an arrest warrant for the fourth person.

After receiving an anonymous call about a sick cat, officials first learned of the hoarded animals, reacting to a home located in the community of Winstead on June 13. When they arrived, they noticed a “strong smell of urine” from the house, police said in a news release.

Apart from searching the animals, police found eight people living in the house, including three suspects and two young children. According to the police, the children, a 6-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, were immediately removed by the state’s Department of Children and Families and kept with relatives.

Winchester Town manager Josh Kelly, who helped organize the pooled animal rescue, said on Facebook that a total of 189 cats, two dogs and a ferret had been evicted. After receiving a veterinary examination, all animals were either adopted or transferred to shelters and rescued a little more than a month after they were found in the home.

Thinking about adopting a pet? There are over a hundred cats from Winstead’s recent animal hoarding situation that are…

Posted by Town of Winchester/Winstead, CT on Wednesday, July 20, 2022

At the time officers found and rescued the animals, residents of the home told police they were trying to help the cats, but things got out of hand, Winchester Police Chief William Fitzgerald told a press conference in June. said in.

“The owners said they were just trying to help keep the animals from freezing outside, and one[the cat]took the other, and[they]started feeding them, and[it]suddenly got out of control. Done,” Fitzgerald said.

The suspects who were taken into custody are to be produced on November 1.

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