Alleged cat owner charged - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Alleged cat owner charged

By Beth Danziger - bio | email                                      

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) - A woman suspected of keeping nearly 60 cats inside a Chester home is now charged with one count of animal cruelty. Depending on additional findings, Patti Wheeler could face more charges.

The Commonwealths Attorney's office says it's waiting to get veterinary evaluations before making a decision to file any more charges against Patti Wheeler.

Covered from head to toe and masked to breathe. That's the way Animal Control officers had to enter a Treely Road home Thursday to rescue 56 cats and four dogs.

They say the animals had over run the home and entering with hazmat suits was the only way to get them out.

"We wanted the officers to be safe and do there jobs properly so when we went into the house and the conditions were unsanitary, there was some concern for officers," said Chesterfield Animal Control Asst. Supervisor Rob Leinberger.

It's that concern according the Commonwealth's Attorney's office that prompted the animal cruelty charge before any others. The prosecutor on the case says if the conditions were bad enough that officers had to wear suits, then it was no place for 60 animals to live.

He now plans to see what medical attention the cats needed before making other decisions on charges.

Those involved in animal rescue say although a scene like this is shocking, it can happen easily.

"They try to do the right thing in the beginning and then it just spirals out of control," said Jemi Hodge of Richmond Animal League.

Hodge says most who horde animals start just trying to rescue a few of them but find themselves overwhelmed with the costs. The fear of getting caught sets in, ending with animals over running homes.

"The feral cats are usually in the higher numbers. It's a lot easier to hide 50 cats than it is hide 50 dogs. There are going to be barking, more feces and everything thing. It's a lot harder to horde dogs than cats," said Hodge. 

The Chesterfield Animal Shelter is still trying determine whether the rescued cats are feral. Still no word yet when Patti Wheeler will be in court to face her animal cruelty charge.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:19:54 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:19:54 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • FORECAST: Our Summer-like weekend continues

    FORECAST: Our Summer-like weekend continues

    Saturday, April 29 2017 6:11 PM EDT2017-04-29 22:11:07 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • Bicyclist identified in deadly Richmond crash

    Bicyclist identified in deadly Richmond crash

    Saturday, April 29 2017 4:31 PM EDT2017-04-29 20:31:14 GMT

    Police say a man has died, after being struck by a car, while he was riding a bicycle in Richmond's southside. It happened just after 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Hopkins Road. Officers say when they arrived at the scene, the bicyclist was already dead. We're still working to learn if the driver is facing any charges. Stay with NBC 12 for updates. Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

    More >>

    Police say a man has died, after being struck by a car, while he was riding a bicycle in Richmond's southside. It happened just after 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Hopkins Road. Officers say when they arrived at the scene, the bicyclist was already dead. We're still working to learn if the driver is facing any charges. Stay with NBC 12 for updates. Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly