Lantana woman probed for animal abuse; 35 cats seized
LANTANA — Inside a Lantana home, 35 nearly feral cats lived among urine and feces until authorities took custody of them in mid-September, recently released court documents show.
The homeowner is being investigated on animal cruelty charges, according to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. The Post is not naming her because she has not yet been charged.
On the evening of Sept. 17, Lantana police responded to the home on West Bloxham Street, south of Lantana Elementary School and west of Federal Highway. The homeowner, who appeared to have lived alone, was outside the house yelling for help, according to court records.
The woman was taken to a hospital. Staff members told police she likely would stay there for an indefinite amount of time. The woman asked police to secure her home, according to court records.
An officer wrote that her home was in “deplorable conditions” and that dozens of cats lived among the filth.
The next day an Animal Care and Control officer went to the home and spotted a seem- ingly sick kitten under a car. The officer could see three other cats inside the home.
A judge signed a search warrant Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 authorities took the 35 cats — five of them dead — out of the home.
The woman told Animal Care and Control that only eight of the cats were hers. The others were strays, she said, and wandered in and out of her home.
An Animal Care and Control spokesman said the woman refused to surrender those eight cats, so authorities are housing them until a court hearing this month decides whether she can keep them.
Most of the cats were “pretty close to feral,” said Capt. David Walesky, operations manager of Animal Care and Control. Authorities were able to send three kittens to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and had one cat adopted. Eighteen cats were euthanized due to medical and behavioral issues, Walesky said.
The search warrant indicates Animal Care and Control has a long history with the woman, dating to 2009. Multiple cats in the woman’s possession previously either had been seized or brought into Animal Care and Control.
She does not appear to have faced criminal charges.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control seized 35 cats — including this one and five dead ones — from a Lantana woman’s home last month.