Investigation into cat rescue case

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield Animal Control officers are still trying to figure out the conditions of dozens of cats rescued from a home Thursday night. 56 cats were seized along with four dogs.

Animal Control officers say this is still very much an on-going investigation. Along with trying to figure out if any criminal charges should be filed, they're also trying to pin down exactly who owns all the animals.

The home was not a stranger to Animal Control. This seizure of 60 animals from a Treely Road home almost didn't happen. NBC12 learned today it was all by chance.

A Chesterfield Sheriff's deputy was serving a subpoena when he found the door open and the 56 cats and four dogs inside.

"It's a large county there is a lot of people in Chesterfield county and regrettably these things happen and when they do we will be there to take care of it," said Animal Control Officer Rob Leinberger.

Animal Control officers say right now they're trying to determine the conditions of all the animals. Veterinarians have been evaluating them since Thursday evening. We do know some have needed extra medical attention.

"Everything inside did not fit what the state required as far adequate food, adequate water, unsanitary conditions, it was a lot of different things we looked at," said Leinberger.

But Thursday wasn't the first time Animal Control had been to the house. An officer was here in January.

According to Animal Control records they were called out then because of the smell coming from the home. But when the officer arrived he found no odor and the animals to be in good condition. No word on how many cats were in the house then.

Now along with figuring out if these cats are okay officers plan to determine what went so wrong in the last five months.

"We still have a lot of people we have to talk to a lot more information we have to gather and more things we have to look at," Leinberger said.

We do know the four dogs in the home were illegal. Chesterfield's animal ordinance only allows homes to have two in residential neighborhoods. Cats are a different story however. There is no limit. But they must have adequate food and water and have their vaccinations.

Because questions remain over their ownership and physical conditions, the animals will not be available for adoption anytime soon.

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