Categories: animal rescue

Cat hoarder and his 16 cats sue the local authority for compensation

Cherryville, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA – News/opinion story: Damon Fields has the behavioural symptoms of a cat hoarder. In November 2019, he had 16 cats and a home that reportedly reeked so badly of pee investigators had to put on masks before entering. Animal Control had to avoid a large amount of cat poop inside the home. These are the classic signs of the home of a cat hoarder.

Man sues in cats’ names in federal court for compensation

They confiscated the 16 cats which included five kittens. Fields was charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty. And he was financially charged with a bill of $10,000 for care of the 16 cats after 30 days boarding.

In the criminal proceedings the prosecutor decided that he did not want to send Fields to jail or even punish him but rather do a deal which helped Fields to manage his propensity to hoard cats. Prosecutors waived Field’s debt to the county and put the prosecution on hold provided he only kept five cats under certain stipulations such as sterilising them.

Fields agreed the deal. However, two weeks later he sued the local authority in his name and the names of his 16 confiscated cats for compensation on the basis that their civil rights had been violated. Fields wants $2,500 for ‘injuries and emotional damages to my babies and myself’ and all of his 16 cats returned.

He says that they were taken unlawfully and the mess in his home was because he had been hospitalised after a car accident. ‘I wasn’t expecting any guess’, he said.

Comment: Animals can’t sue because they are the property of humans and they are deemed not to have the required ability to know right from wrong (moral agency). They are similar to children in this regard.

Fields appears to be a cat lover and decent at heart but has lost a sense of reality in the matter. It is a shame because the county has tried to deal with him patiently and fairly as reported by the Charlotte Observer. The prosecutors don’t see any advantage in punishing the man. In response and after agreeing a course of action he sued them which was not a good idea. And he sued in the names of the cats e.g. Boo Loo and Tony Tiger. Also not a good idea.

He is not going to win this one. The county will probably have to follow through on the prosecution and the deal will be torn up.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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