“..cats had eaten other cats” – update on cat hoarder Julianne Westberry

This is an update on the tragedy that befell the cats belonging to Julianne Westberry. More information has been released, but the investigation is continuing. This is a very, very disturbing situation, so if you get upset easily, please don’t read any further. The original story on PoC can be found here, and at this time has more than 140 comments.

Pearl 17 yrs old rescue cat

Pearl, a 17-year-old survivor of Julianne Westberry’s house of cat hell

Many people are stepping up who paint a different portrait of the loving animal advocate we thought we knew. Her Facebook page is also taking a beating, as there are many who are still standing up for Julianne, despite the fact that DOZENS of dead cats have been found.

According to The Belton and Honea Path News Chronicle, a total of 94 cats have been recovered from the home. The incident began on June 18 when someone stopped at the home interested in buying some porch furniture. That person notice a horrible odor and flies covering the window. A call was placed to the Belton Police Department, and Julianne was contacted by phone. Julianne told police she wouldn’t be home until the next day. At this time, the Belton Fire Department broke down the door.

Inside they found 37 dead cats, all at different stages of decomposition. There were bags of cat food scattered across the floor, but no water for the cats. Dead cats were found in pet carriers. Live cats were also seen eating the dead cats. There were 32 live cats removed from the home. A few never made it to Anderson County PAWS alive. One of the officer’s involved stated in an incident report

“I also observed where cats had eaten other cats. In the back bedroom, I observed a dead mother cat that had three kittens that appeared to have been nursing. We found dead cats under furniture and in closed-bedrooms, and while outside, we heard a noise under the house. I opened a small door and a white cat walked out from under the house and fell to the ground.”

Julianne returned to Belton on June 19, and was arrested and her bond set at $1,000. From what I’ve heard, she checked herself into some sort of treatment, but is now saying she doesn’t need it and wants to come home.

Two more cats rescued from Westberry's hoarding

Two more cats rescued from Westberry’s hoarding

There are a lot of people defending Julianne. Yes, she did work as a volunteer for the Anderson County Humane Society. From what I’ve heard, she placed phone calls to set up appointments for spay/neuter. From what the near dozen animal shelters she pulled from are telling, Julianne was allegedly using their 501c3 status to take the cats. Personally, I’ve been contacted by one person who asked to pay a pledge to the Anderson County Human Society, and Julianne had the money personally paid to her. There are likely many more who did the same. The Anderson County Humane Society will hopefully make a statement about the situation before long.

Meanwhile, Ash Truesdale continues to work on the album of the more than 400 cats Julianne “rescued” over the past year. Many cats were taken to “the farm,” where they’re being trapped where they can be placed into a safer environment. Several who know Julianne have said many of her cats escaped her home and were run over. Those let loose on the farm are among the lucky ones.

To see all of the cats “rescued” by Julianne, here’s the page. I’m attempting to keep an album of those found alive. All of us affected by this deceit are hoping many of the cats were adopted out, either through PetSmart or by private adoption. Fosters are beginning to come forward, no longer willing to support Julianne since more information on her true character have surfaced.

The cats taken alive to Anderson County PAWS may be held there until a judge releases them. This is upsetting a lot of people who fostered cats before turning them back over to Julianne. One person that I know of has secured an attorney, as Julianne didn’t own the cats left in her care by this person. Hopefully an attorney can get the cats belonging to an individual released back to the legal owner.

Please feel free to leave a comment on this or the previous article. If more charges or filed or the situation changes with the cats, I’ll write yet another update for PoC. Personally, I’m afraid more dead cats will turn up, since Julianne apparently had more than one property where cats were held.

Before forming an opinion, please look at the photo of Pearl, a 17-year-old survivor of Julianne Westberry’s house of cat hell. How can you support someone who allows an elderly cat to live under these conditions?


Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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133 Responses

  1. Joan Gilbert says:

    It sounds like the situation was horrendous. She sounds like a typical hoarder to me, which is an obsessive compulsive disorder. I helped with a hoarding case of 211 rabbits,in which the lady was extremely manipulative and in denial that she was even harming any of the animals. They usually think that they are helping out, no one else can help better, and don’t see what harm they’re doing to the animals. Ugh..she was living with dead animals around and a teenage daughter? If medication and therapy aren’t accepted, there is a 100 percent recidivism rate, meaning she WILL do it again. Maybe the good that can come out of this is us working to strengthen the animal abuse laws in every state.

  2. Inez Barro says:

    It amazes me with people who call themselves human. For one, think of the pain and suffering this creatures went through. I’m sorry but I hope she has the book thrown at her. To allow this to happen is irresponsible. More and more of these cases are coming to light. I fear many turn a blind eye to what’s going on around them. “Its not my problem,” is the mentality of some. At least someone saw what was going on in time to save those that survived. I hope all are well and found better homes. or have forever homes pending where they will be loved and cared for.

    • For one, think of the pain and suffering this creatures went through.

      What irritates me (but does not surprise me) is that some people are supporting her. They must be like her – human-centric and a complete lack of understanding of what she has done.

      Your future comments will be published immediately.

  3. Ben says:

    I need assistance. I am trying to report a similar situation but fear that it also involves criminal activity involving animals. The police, HSUS, animal control all pass the buck and do not help. How do I get a particular situation investigated? They are smart enough to not have the animals where they live. I am very serious and sincere. Please, justice needs to be served as many animals are not only suffering, starving, they are being violently killed.

    • Hi Ben,

      I am surprised that the police don’t want to get involved. Actually I am not that surprised. They aren’t that interested in this sort of criminality. It is tricky because all your notifications to the authorities have come up blank. What you might do it publicise it on the internet. You can do that anonymously on this site for example – just write another comment about what is going on and I’ll covert that into an article or two – or on Facebook.

      Some pressure can be applied these days online. It can produce results sometimes. Are you able to get some hard evidence? Photos and so on? Probably not. Publicising it online can produce comments and input from others which can lead to ideas and other courses of action that can resolve the matter.

      I’d like to hear more from you anyway because we are always trying to improve cat/animal welfare and exposing cat and animal abuse is one way of doing it.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing. Your future comments will be published immediately.

      • Joan Gilbert says:

        Ben, Can you get the TV news folks involved? They love a good sensational story.. especially if they know the authorities are slow to act on it. Sounds like what happened in Forks, Wa. Good luck.

  4. Heather says:

    Elisa would probably know better than anyone else, but does anyone know if those cats have been tested for FeLV & FIV? I also wonder how many of them may have been exposed to FIP since they were in such horrid conditions. I would think the shelter/new fosters would test & re-test in a month for FeLV & FIV. Since there’s no test for FIP, I hope any who were exposed just throw that virus & don’t transmit it to other cats. Poor guys. Keeping them in a shelter won’t help, but other cats who would be near these guys would be at risk. Just another issue w/ hoarding.

  5. Deb says:

    Firstly, I want to say this as I know what I am about to say is going to draw fire.
    I work in animal rescue. I have 10 cats, 9 of my own and one foster. I’m currently temp fostering two little ones.
    This is incomprehensible to me, and beyond understanding. I’m as upset-horrified and sick as everyone.
    That said, I work as a counselor/social worker. My specialty?People like Julia who become the madpeople that give animal rescuers a ‘bad’ name, and make mainstreeam media paint many of us as crazy cat ladies.

    Most people who start off, are You, Me, the lady down the street, the person up the block. They aren’t crazy, they aren’t ‘cat killers’. They love cats (and/or dogs) Somewhere along the way, something drastic changes. They can’t control it, they become overwhelmed. They can’t say no, they want to save every cat.
    And they can’t.
    They stop adopting them out because no one is good enough for their cats. They may become angry and emotionally exhausted. They think people owe them, and they make themselves believe tht the cats couldn’t be in better hands.
    Most of them don’t understand what’s happened. They can’t get a grip on it. Are they doing it, letting animals starve delieberately?
    I don’t believe so.
    A part of them, that part that holds them to reality, to asking for help, denies that they need to ask for help.
    I don’t understand it any more than anyone else does.
    Why do I work with these people?

    Because-there but for the grace of God go I.

    I pull cats off ‘death lists’. I worry about cats in situations that are dangerous, where they could be harmed or killed. I work with two excellent rescues that support me emotionally and put the kabash on me and fellow rescuers when we become overwhelmed.
    I love my cats with my whole heart-and I help however I can….but sometimes it never feels enough.

    Am I horrified-extremely and I read the article because I have met rescuers seeking cats places, and my heart is with them. I am leery of turning cats over to anyone, including ‘sanctuaries’ for this reason…and I worry about those that have-

    I’m so sorry for all of this-it’s heart rending and terrible. I hope every cat that survived gets a wonderful home. I hope that everyone finds their rescues…and that somehow, something comes from this that is positive, if only an awareness comes that we have to realize that looking at any one person as the answer isn’t the answer-…..

    my heart goes out to all and their beloved babies.

  6. Lei says:

    im not defending JW but the root of this is the system of heartless Euthanasia of cats and dogs. this will not have happened and other horrible stories of cat kills via euthanasia if it werent for that system. these are not the only lives that suffered and had been loss because of the cruel mass muders happening to shelters, How about we Euthanize Humans because of its OVER overpopulation to our world and lets first start to the family of the euthanizers and the people that created this system :'(

  7. kylee says:

    Should be a lot more. All the suffering she has caused.

  8. Cindy Shepard says:

    Are you kidding me??? Her bond was a
    $1,000??? This is so wrong. All the death and suffering and she can walk for a thousand bucks!

  9. Taming Gracie says:

    I’m not going to comment on this woman’s possible motivation. This situation doesn’t make me question all the good people fighting this fight on behalf of the cats who are tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. Many groups pull lots of animals from the urgent lists without this happening. The problem here is the fraud. If it weren’t for that, I doubt this situation could have developed this way. What needs a thorough review is how the fraud was accomplished so easily (multiple shelters or not, she pulled a lot more than just 1-2 from each). It might help for each 501(c)3 to have an approved person list at each shelter they pull from that can only be updated by a board member…similar to what you need to allow someone else to pick up your child at school. I don’t think there’s a need for a national list, but rather one extra, simple safeguard that shouldn’t take a lot of time or effort to put in place.

  10. Cindy Shepard says:

    This is happening more and more and frankly, I am fed up with people taking donations for rescue work and find out they are nothing more than a new type of scammer.

    As always, the poor cats suffer and starving to death has to be an awful way to die. Sorry, Elise I think they ought to throw the book at her. Depressed or not, just the love and compassion you feel for the animal should make you get up and do the right thing.

  11. Cindy Shepard says:

    My dad dies when I was 9 and my mom when I was 58. Both hurt so bad, but Mom’s has been much worse. I still cannot talk about her to people in person without crying. So I just don’t do it. I really did not think I would survive her death the first couple of years after she passed.

    The only thing that made me function was my cats. They had to be fed/watered scooped and they all require some amount of attention.

    My point is, I was in a serious state of depression, but could not imagine not taking care of my cats who rely solely on me to take care of them. Bottom line, I understand depression only too well, but I cannot comprehend being in the house with a cat and watching it starve to death and do nothing.

  12. J. Martin says:

    To say in the least I find this disgustingly disturbing … what happened to these poor cats. Their suffering must have been horrendous!!! A person who should have been caring for these animals (ALL of them) .. DIDN’T!!!
    I feel so sad & sick for the ones who died and my heart goes out to them. I just hope the remaining ones can be helped and find “TRUE” loving homes. And not be kept in the “HOUSE OF HELL”!!! Why would someone in their right mind defend such a person as this? What she did is EVIL pure & simple. It was heartless, thoughtless and she showed no empathy, caring, sympathy or compassion to these 94 cats. GOD .. of 94 cats (40% were found dead).. the other 57 cats who were rescued (some of which also died) were living in deplorable conditions because starving, malnourished, likely dehydrated (because they had no water)!! This person must be severely punished .. fines, JAIL, bans on owning or even being near an animal .. and more importantly it ought to be done to her .. see if she likes the same treatment!!! EVIL, EVIL, SICK BITCH!!! I HATE “people who do this kind of thing (hurt innocent animals)” .. and to make it even worse. SHE WAS SUPPOSE TO HELP THEN .. NOT HURT & KILL THEM!!!!!

    • Initially, people didn’t believe or could not believe that she was a classic cat hoarder who had neglected her cats. People were sympathetic because her father had just died but gradually it dawned on people via a copious number of comments on this website that this woman callously neglected her cats to the point where they simply died of starvation it seemed to me while, allegedly, defrauding people for financial gain. This story has a while to run I think. She gave the impression that she was caring and compassionate hence the title to the original post but that appears to have been an illusion. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  13. Colleen Crossan says:

    Also, I checked with Julianne several times to follow-up on the kittens. The mama had been hit by a car, and the family who asked for help with them, wanted one of them back. Julianne said, they needed to be spayed or neutered first. Now I fear this family never got the one kitten they wanted. She is a serial killer of cats! Thank God she finally was caught!

  14. Colleen Crossan says:

    This woman needs to be put away forever! The atrocities she committed are unforgivable, and the people who continue to defend her, need to get their heads out of their ass! The people who knew of this and help cover it up are just as guilty! I have known Julianne for many years. I was never a big fan of hers, but I just couldn’t put my finger on why. Sadly, she supposedly “helped” me with a litter of kittens after the foster person I was supposed to meet in Greenville never showed up. Julianne set up this meeting, now I have to wonder if there ever was a foster. I later met Julianne, who told me that Wanda Crane was going to take these kittens who needed to be bottle fed. Now I fear they too died. Dear God , how could this monster have fooled so many people??!!

    • The people who knew of this and help cover it up are just as guilty!

      What you say is perhaps the major topic of conversation within these comments. People agree. There needs to be some changes to prevent it happening again.

  15. Ruth says:

    absolutely…feel free to use my comment

    • Lori says:


      Did you actually post that comment on the Friends of Harnett page on Facebook? I do not see it there. Are you the original author? I want to be clear of this and ask you if we can use your comment in the future as we are making people aware in our area about the “rescue” which is occurring in our area. The public is led to believe that FOH is checking all rescues, and the pets who are “saved” are going to safe and good foster care situations and more. We are tired of the coverups.

  16. Elisa says:


  17. Marianna Burt says:

    Of course — anything that could possibly be of help to rescuers (& their charges)

  18. Thank you Marianne. I may turn your comment into an article in conjunction with another comment by Ruth if that is OK.

  19. Ruth says:

    Friends of Harnett Animal Shelter, In light of recent incidents in which numerous deceased cats were found at a local rescue, I am compelled to express my concerns. This statement concerns not only your organization, but the numerous other shelters organizers involved in transporting cats to Julianne Westberry. I realize there are numerous shelter animals with limited options.

    The available fosters/rescues and animal advocacy groups are minimal compared to the need. Oftentimes, time is limited and there is an urgency to get animals out of high kill shelters as quickly as possible. As I am sure you realize, the need is ongoing and there is a desperation to save as many lives as possible.

    Unfortunately, I believe that this urgency has had tragic results for many homeless animals and my concern is that this does not happen again. There were many red flags that went unheeded.

    First of all, JW insisted on meeting in a public location. Transporters did not deliver to the home. When a rescue does not welcome a home visit, people should be very cautious.

    Secondly, with the number of cats in shelters in SC, why did this woman obtain cats from NC, TN, and other out of state locations? That is clearly a red flag. SC shelters are overwhelmed with homeless cats. Why are you continuing to send NC cats to rescues in SC? Clearly, their own shelters are full and overflowing.

    Let me get to the point, you actively collect money from your supporters to pull and transport pets to various out of state rescues. How many of these rescues have you personally inspected before transporting these animals?

    It is one thing to be fooled by unscrupulous rescue organizations, but quite another to ignore obvious red flags. When you collect money from the public to pull and transport these animals, you must be held to a higher standard. People who pledge and support your organization trust that you are taking these animals out of danger to a safe environment, not sending them on to a life of pure torture.

    As an animal advocate, I plead with you, you must do better. The safety and health of these loving animals rests in your hands. If you cannot ensure their safety, do not “rescue” them. I hope that in the future you will proceed with caution and investigate before dropping off animals to “rescue organizations”. They should be able to provide vet references as well as be open to showing you where the animals are living until adoption.

    Harnett Friends….I plead with you….don’t let this happen again. These precious animals depend on you and me…we cannot let them down.


  20. nyxalinth says:

    You evil, evil F**KING XXXXX. I hope that you suffer the worst Hell has to offer for deliberately doing this to innocent cats. rot in hell, you vile f**king whore.

  21. Julia Fromfeld says:

    As a dedicated volunteer at a local NO kill rescue I am outraged by what Julianne has done. She’s a horder! And she used shelters to feed her sick addiction. People that know her personally should have stepped up and stopped her from getting more cats. These poor babies were tortured by her. Left to starve! She should NEVER be allowed to own or help out animals again! She needs help but please keep her away from my kitty friends!!! I’ll be following this story. I hope some of the kitties survived. I’m scared to see the final death tally. 🙁

  22. Heather says:

    Anyone in rescue knows these cats don’t come w/ a price tag, their lives were ruined or lost in this mess. As for the woman being in it for the $, cats cost more than the sponsorship $ they came with, which was obviously not being spent on them. She had more than she could care for financially and physically and it’s not acceptable, no matter what the excuse.

  23. Laura Scisciani-Ray says:

    mentally unstable? this may have been believable if she had some cats in her possession and suddenly stopped taking care of them.. but she premeditatd their murders…. by calling on shelters and saying she was “rescuing’ cats from death row… collecting pledge money from unsuspecting people who thought they were helping to save these wonderful creatures…… AND THEM DUMPING THEM TO DIE!! not even letting them out of their carriers…. the whole scene makes me physically ill. this woman deserves to spend years in jail and pay back every dollar that she stole from people…. and to never,ever be allowed to be near an animal again.. anyone defending her , you need to look past your *friendship* and see the complete evil that lies within this woman…. anyone who can deliberately cause the horrific torture and agonizing deaths of these creatures, soo many owner surrenders, needs to pay for these sins… rest in peace sweet innocents… <3

  24. Peter Askin says:

    Jan, I’m so glad those two babies were saved. I hope they find a wonderful home together.

  25. Elisa says:

    I’m glad the shelter is able to release them. To hold them like the dogs from Golden S would be another burden. I know a few had retained an attorney in case it had come to that.

  26. Elisa says:

    One person commented on Facebook that if not for the lady who stopped to look at the furniture who called police Julianne would likely have come home, bagged the dead cats and disposed of them with no one any wiser. Makes you wonder if that’s been her plan over the past few years.

    • kylee says:

      It really sounds like it. Its good that there are some people out there who think behind and maybe even had a feeling or a sense.

    • Do you think she is all bad or has some mental healthy issues as well?

      • kylee says:

        Its hard to Tell Michael maybe she had abit of both, but from what im hearing from other people it sounds she started this way before her father died. Its really sad i really feel for those poor cats and kittens its horrible seeing them in such a horrible situation. If she had a mental health issue she would of received some form of help you would think. I think she prob didn’t have mental health as like many have said she was collecting them and getting money till they die. I agree with what others have said. Its really horrible.

      • Jaye Lynn says:

        Being a sociopath IS a mental health issue, but not one that usually gets sympathy. Nor should it.

    • Irene says:

      Elisa, When Julianne moved out of our house in Honea Path, she had friends help her to move. One day was spent loading a huge open trailer with big black bags out of the garage. I now shudder to think what was in those bags, they wore rubber gloves to lift the bags and the trailer was over run. This was just for one of several runs to the dump. The smell left in the garage was so overwhelming we had to wear surgical masks when we were allowed in there. I just can’t believe I ever felt sorry for her, it breaks my heart. And its sad to say but whatever was going on in that house the 16 year old daughter knew about it because there were many times she stayed there alone. We always told her if she ever felt threatened or afraid to call us or come to our house and we would help her, day or night.

  27. HeyMORONS(redux) says:

    Hmm… this gives me a good idea. I had no idea that people PAY you to take cats off their hands. What a wonderful way to get rid of your excess cats for you. Declare your home a “rescue”, file for tax-exempt status, pull cats from shelters, then drown and bury every last one. Rinse and repeat. What a wonderful money-making opportunity for anyone! Hell, if they can’t find out that cats are dying in cages and desiccated under piles of other dead cats from “legitimate” rescues …. this seems like the perfect solution to get rid of your excess cats for you — since you won’t. Nobody none-the-wiser. What a wonderful economic solution for so many. I’ll spread the word. Thanks for letting me know how this all works!!

    • Good morning, Woody, or evening whatever time it is there. I don’t think you used a swear word in that comment. What happened?

    • Elisa says:

      And the scary part Woody is if you’re charming to the ladies who bring you cats you’d get away with it. Women LOVE men who love cats.

      • HeyMORONS(redux) says:

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll let everyone know that you are that easily manipulated. (but that kinda goes without saying, doesn’t it)

        • My pleasure Woody. Have a nice one and don’t forget your .22 rifle and .38 handgun. Just gotta have ’em ready at all times.

        • Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

          So very predictable Woody popping up on this article, nothing better to do than scan cat articles to find one to rant on.
          Yes women love men who genuinely love cats but we can easily see through a fake like you Woody, your cold inhumane eyes would give you away every time.

      • kylee says:

        Exactly Elisa we sure do :))))

  28. Elisa says:

    I’ll be writing an update either later today or for Saturday and updating everyone on what the news isn’t saying. As in what charges people plan to file against her and who to turn to if you gave her money. Diana Watson with Fox is keeping me updated, but I know more than is in the news article. I went to visit the cats, and there are very few who survived the house. We all hope there are more she just dumped at the farm. A few of those have been found. Here’s a photo of one of the ones that really took a liking to me. Most have URI’s. Some are really skinny. I do believe the ones at the shelter are going to pull through. There was one white cat named Big Boy who died. He was purposely trapped under the house. There are no other white cats there, no ginger color cats and I didn’t see any Persians. Several dilute calicos and several tabby cats and a few black cats. To think there are still hundreds unaccounted for is horrible.

    • kylee says:

      Awww he/she looks cute. Poor baby’s. Its such a horrible situation much,much worse than already thought. SO horrible to think of all those poor cats and kittens. Feeling rather hopeless. Maybe for this months donation should go towards the care of those cats.

  29. Lu Anne says:

    What she did is beyond hoarding tho. It’s like, kinda what Kathleen above said…like she was, is, a socio-path. Major scamming involving the cats to line her own pockets. I’m sure her brain’s very twisted up and after what more all has come out, my sympathy and compassion for her is reduced. I’m sure in her own mind and to us in general if she were asked, she would justify the taking of the money as well. I can have compassion for hoarders, but when I not only hear about mumified cats, and dead babies trying to nurse off dead moms, and THEN cats eating off the carcasses of other dead cats, meanwhile she’s off pocketing the money and doing god knows what. I also hope that this discovery, also gets help for her one child who is still under 18-16 I think-gets her help because it can be passed on from generation to generation. Wow…it’s like everyone in animal rescues worse nightmare has become a major reality. I am just glad that they are taking this seriously. There is another situation up in Pennsylvania where the “authorities” are just brushing off the situation and many cats are even being rescued right now due to government politics!!! Also, what a person is willing to do, neglect and elsewise to animals, it’s very easy for them to move on to children. I can see how she could have very easily done this with foster children!! Due to our societal structure tho, as well as nowadays the ability to raise funds for animals online via internet, it was easier for her to get away with it with cats or dogs even.

    • Lu Anne says:

      oops that should be many cats in PA situation AREN’T being rescued due to the local politics game being played

    • Jacob says:

      I agree! Her youngest adopted daughter, Brit….I feel so badly for her. She is a fabulous girl and I hope and pray her life turns out well.
      JW did not have to work. She asked anyone for ANYTHING…and people gave it to her! One thing I always tried to tell Brit was that people who wanted or needed stuff should work fir ut and earn it, not expect others to give it to them.

  30. Laura Hampson says:

    What a horrific tragedy!!! She obviously was doing this for the money if she held no job. I see nothing on comments that she worked at any employment. Having no job and pulling that many cats should have been obvious to someone that she was in this for the money alone. But, living in that horrendous situation and making her teen daughter also live in it, has to signal some type of mental instability. I just can’t see that anyone could be THAT desperate for money that they would live that way. So unbelievable that it was not discovered when her child knew about it. The whole thing is too much to wrap your head around!

  31. Peter Askin says:

    To call this woman mentally ill is just trivializing the scope of the evil. Her excuses are pathetic and self-serving nonsense. Many people have tragedies in their lives and don’t let hundreds of kitties die a horrible death (and as someone pointed out, this all started before her father died). She was sane enough to pocket all the money that came her way in donations, and that would appear to be her motivation.I hope she is punished to the fullest extent of law. As I said on my page, its like a Tiger Ranch, except all in one small house. Pearl’s look in her picture will haunt me for a long time.

    • Hi Peter, you are not alone in your thoughts.

    • Jan says:

      Peter you are so right the mentally ill thing is just a defense strategy. Her old landlord said she did the same thing to him and he just got her out of the house on May 17th! She has done this along time and her older children grew up in this horror! The horror for us is the mummified mom and babies is most likely from our local shelter. Two of the cats she pulled from the shelter were found alive in the house they are in horrible shape! Another cat she said was adopted Angel that she got pledges for was found with a “foster” and never had been adopted. I for one will never for get those little white babies and their mom!!! Here is one of our survivors the shelter is going to go pick the two of them up tomorrow!

      • kylee says:

        Aww those poor Kitties so Beautiful too. It seems she was much more mental ill than long thought. Those poor cats hope they will all be ok.

      • Jacob says:

        Yes Jan! She began this WELL before her father died! We have all known JW for YEARS. In the last two years she became more distant from everyone, claiming she was too busy to meet for coffee, just had so much going in with volunteering for the helpline etc…
        What I HAVEN’T heard any mention if is the portable trailers she had acquired and (she told me) had been placed in the fields of a farm of a friend here locally….how many dead there? What do those trailers look like inside? How many bodies burned?
        JW was NOT the kind to air her personal business on FB, but since her fathers death, all we heard about was depression this, depression that, need medication, I’m so very distraught… Unlike her to post such matters.
        Though we will never know fir sure, I wonder if the “friend” that was so gracious to help her so many times when she was unable to provide for herself and adopted daughter,I wonder if when he caught on as to what was happening…told her to stop, clean up, whatever…..I think she KNEW she was close to being found out, either thru being turned in or just due to the fact she no longer had a place to “store” the cats….but I think all those personal FB posts were about devising a plan of temp insanity…as stated, mOst mentally unstable folks are just that, mentally unstable, but NOT stupid.

        • Thanks Jacob for commenting.

        • Susan says:

          Sure wish, when all of Julianne’s old friends noticed her changing, you all had talked about it and what it might mean. I presume you all knew that she was a cat “rescuer,” yes? What did you think was in those trailers? The people closest to her, who might have been able to intervene, seem to have turned a blind eye.

      • Jan says:

        This baby came home today will go to the vet and hopefully recover!

        • kylee says:

          Thats so good to hear that will go to vet and recover looks so very sad. Hope a trustworthy person can be found to look after the poor babies.

  32. Elisa says:

    I drove to Anderson today and visited the survivors and took photos. Am trying to match them up with those Julianne pulled https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.722173004510819.1073741860.100001543771119&type=1

    • Kathleen says:

      Elisa – Check J’s Kitten Cottage page – I saw one cat on there with information of where he was “adopted” from originally. Her FB page posts are all deleted now so that may be next.

      • Heather says:

        It bothers me to see so many people (mostly women) on Facebook asking “Do you know what happened to this cat, that cat, or that mama & kittens? I hope they are okay.” Did they just meet her somewhere & give her the cats? Do they honestly think the cats are or will be okay? Those cats most likely died of illness & neglect. The ones who didn’t die are probably sick w/ upper respiratory infections (if not pneumonia,) viruses such as calici which causes horrible sores in the mouth, rhino which causes pneumonia, panleuk which causes diarrhea & is fatal, conjunctivitis, coccidia, giardia, and ringworm. I am sure of it. Many will probably die after vaccines if they have panleuk or rabies. Not to mention these cats probably don’t use the litter boxes anymore, are probably loaded w/ fleas, and will need tons of medication. The ones are friendly may overcome this, but the scared ones will need work. These cats are going to need a lot of medical attention, patience, time, and $$$. I feel really bad for them & for PAWS. The woman is OUT of the equation in my book, but I am certain she will wallow in self-pity because an addict always does and never thinks about their victims (in this case, the cats & the people who donated $.) Society needs to be more responsible foe their own pets & the shelters who are so desperate to release animals as opposed to euthanasia need to check on their rescues and fosters more.

        The enablers who are scrambling to find the cats they dumped on her, well, when you point a finger at someone else, you have 5 fingers, or in this case paws, pointing back @ you.
        Sorry for such a long post, but my friend and I have cleaned up a cat hoarding condition & I have no sympathy for the enablers or the hoarders. It is one of the biggest problems w/ rescue, isn’t fair to the animal, and should NOT be taken lightly.

        • Angela says:

          “…she will wallow in self-pity because an addict always does and never thinks about their victims…”
          NAILED IT!

          Per Fox News, she is now out of the hospital and the brief statement she gave them was basically “I don’t know why this happened.. blah blah… I was embarrassed and didn’t know who to trust.. blah blah.” No remorse and no apology for the suffering she caused.

        • Mary Elizabeth Todd says:

          I think she presented in such a way that people really trusted her- most have had no idea that she was pulling from so many rescues all around the southeast-

          I think many thought they were giving cats to her and she would find a home for them and she stated that she would find a home- on one thread she even said that she had a potential adopter for the cat and she would visit with them that weekend- that cat has not been found and no adopter has come forward. so please do not condemn those people- they trusted her and she betrayed that trust- put the fault where it belongs. Almost everyone was deceived.

        • Kathleen says:

          Many of the cats are indeed safe. I have two that I kept that Julianne asked for fosters for. It seems she kept many but did indeed network others to find them homes. That’s why people are asking.

          • She seems therefore to be reasonably switched on which makes this even worse. It means she let it happen knowingly.

          • Elisa says:

            I hope we learn a lot of the cats are safe with fosters or were adopted. The horrible truth is we’ll never know what happened to many of them.

          • Jan says:

            Kathleen What cats do you have? The shelters are asking for the fosters to step up so they know their animals are safe. I think the Humane Society she was pulling under wants that information as well. Please post their pictures and date received.

        • Jan says:

          Heather why would you call people who volunteer and work at high kill AC shelters enablers??? She pulled those cats and kittens with using falsified 501 credentials! The people that sent the cats on transport or pledged money had no idea she was pulling from multiple shelters daily! I had never heard of her until her name and email just showed on the NC Rescue CrossPost a few months ago non of us did, but her fb page and peoples glowing testimonies fooled a lot of AC shelters.

          • Heather says:

            Shelters staff & volunteers are so desperate to avoid euthanizing animals that they often neglect to verify WHERE the animal is going. One rescue pulls for another rescue, one transporter leaves a cat w/ another person, etc., you know the deal. I stand firm w/ the “Dump & Run” syndrome.
            While it is claimed on here that she was not authorized to pull under a certain 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue (obviously she was NOT the director,) does anyone actually believe that the 501(c)(3) would tell the TRUTH & ADMIT if the organization placed cats w/ her? Would they admit they were also the cause of this hoarding & placed cats in danger? Heck NO!!! They would lose their 501(c)(3,) have to accept responsibility, and also admit GUILT.
            Nobody fell off the turnip truck yesterday. EVERYONE involved, including the shelters, volunteers, transporters, and perpetrator (hoarder) are liable.

            • Jan says:

              I am pretty sure Cabarrus Animal shelter checked her out. With all her friends writing glowing assessments she filled out the proper paper work sent in a copy of the 501. And some even went to the new house she had just moved to 4 weeks ago. Like I said I had never heard of her until a couple months ago myself she just appeared in the NC Rescue Cross Post. She is not a hoarder maybe a sociopath, she is an embezzler, a con artist, she has done this for years and many people in her hometown knew it but painted this picture of a mother who adopted her 3 children, a teacher, a active member of a church! But I agree I would not send a animal some place I had not totally checked out completely it scares me and always had. So many times people will transport from the south to the northern states but the only shelter I ever sent a animal to is North Shore Animal League.

              • Heather says:

                Yep she is no different than many other rescuers turned hoarders though. There are so many stories similar to this, such as Chubber’s rescue in MD & Caboodle Ranch in FL. Sad for the poor cats who suffered. If I can’t see where a cat goes, I won’t take it there. If an animal I pull from a shelter is sick, I’m not going to dump it on another person, hoping they treat it. However, these dumpers don’t want to be saddled w/ a sick cat, it’s easier to dump & run & think they saved it. The flip side of this keeping a sick or any animal is that some people don’t think anyone else can take care of them & get too attached, which probably happened in this case. They’re also good at hiding things. They can’t say no and get overwhelmed. People also become angry when someone says NO. Rescue has some of the most selfish people in it, IMO.

  33. Pam Plummer says:

    Julianne Westberry, in my opinion, is a cruel & greedy person! I don’t consider her a hoarder-hoarder’s have good intentions and get overwhelmed! Julianne’s interest was only in the money she could receive by accepting the cat’s that she was supposed to rescue. When she didn’t even let them out of the carriers that they arrived in, she made it clear that she had no intention of them surviving and wasn’t going to waste a moment of her time or supplies, which she did have, in giving them any chance to do anything but die. She is just a very diabolical con-artist! I am sick of hearing people saying that she is suffering from depression, mental illness…..and she was always such a nice person. Hello people! That’s what con-artists do. They manipulate you and by defending her, you’re still allowing her to manipulate you. As for her being nice-well, that’s how people describe most serial killers. Ted Bundy was such a nice guy. John Wayne Gacy was a nice guy-shoot, he even dressed as a clown for children’s birthday parties and kids loved him. I could name endless others but that’s not the point here. Being a nice person is part of the whole act, which it appears Julianne perfected. And really, why shouldn’t she be nice with all these people throwing money at her and paying her to do something that she enjoyed which was slowly killing cats! No quick death for these kitties, but a slow & painful death that she could get some sick satisfaction from. Yes, I will agree that she is mentally sick because I think that of anyone who gets off by watching anything suffer but I also don’t think that any amount of professional help she could receive will ever change her because the one thing that is clear to me is that she enjoyed what she was doing! The only way that she will ever change is by learning to cover her tracks much better.

  34. opie graycloud says:

    Anyone standing behind this negligent & inhumane hoarder should be investigated & suspect in their treatment of animals.

  35. Heather says:

    Unfortunately, this is is so typical in rescue. People can’t say no after they get an e-mail from a cross-poster or shelter, wind up w/ way too many cats (or dogs,) can’t find them homes, and hoard. Their stance is they were “overwhelmed,” but it is hoarding, no matter how you put it. The people who asked these so-called rescuers to take cats never go to the house, never question how many animals the person has, as if they would tell the truth anyway because the so-called rescuer knows it’s not normal, & many people will constantly ask the so-called rescuer to take more cats because they won’t say no. They really don’t care where the animal goes, the dumpers are in denial, as long as the animal is w/ someone else & they don’t have to deal w/ it, paying to feed it, vet bills, finding it a new home, medicating a sick animal, etc, it’s all good because sending the animal to a rescue or someone else’s house is always better than taking it to a shelter, where it may be euthanized or because they “can’t keep it.” Humane euthanasia is better than living through a hoarding HELL.
    Then the dumpers are all pointing fingers at the dumpee, blaming them.

    ALWAYS INSIST on SEEING where the animal will be, how it will get adopted, and how the rescue will PAY for it.
    Chances are if someone doesn’t want you at their house, they’re HIDING TOO MANY ANIMALS.

    • I like your comment. I think what you are saying is that the people who place cats with hoarders are equally to blame. They supply the hoarder. But for them there wouldn’t be the hoarding at least in some cases.

      • Heather says:

        Thank you! Yes, many people who want to get rid of animal don’t really care where it goes. This woman didn’t acquire all these cats on her own. I don’t dismiss her from responsibility though. Being a responsible rescue means you HAVE to say NO. You have to know limits and protect the animals in your care. It isn’t fair to the existing or new incoming animals to put them in harm’s way, not to mention your own health. It’s called the classic “dump & run” in rescue, which isn’t right. Now this woman will wallow in self-pity while others, even people who left cats w/ her will point fingers.
        Poor cats, even if some are euthanized, at least they won’t suffer anymore.

        • A human mess really and the victim is the cat, in the middle of it. It is funny how often the cat is a victim of human misdeed.

          • Heather says:

            Yes you’re so right! Good intentions gone array. These animals are like drugs to the hoarder & the people who bring them are the suppliers. The people who donate $ w/out checking out the situation are the enablers.

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      Good comment.
      So, it sounds to me that Julianne was accepting cats from individuals and not just pulling from shelters.
      There have been some discussions on POC about handing over a cat to a person you really don’t know. It’s as bad a advertising “kittens free to good home”.

    • Linda says:

      And I do agree with Heather….too many rescuers just want to get them out of the shelter environment …period…thinking anything is better than the shelter…it’s horrible to know that there are worse things….and this is a situation that was…I have always wondered how on this earth someone can pull forty cats at one time and have a place for them that is a safe and healthy environment. It is hard enough to find a safe and loving foster for ONE cat…let alone tens of hundreds…if that is going on over and over that should send up a red flag…something else is going on….this is so horrible…and heartbreaking. But I have ZERO sympathy for this “woman”

  36. Matthew M. says:

    She wasn’t “mentally unstable” when she was cashing checks and withdrawing money from her Paypal account. That’s for sure, and that was the only thing driving this horrendous act.
    A $1000 bail? geez…she got out of jail for $100. She got almost twice that on average from each cat. The animal abuse and neglect unfortunately in this state aren’t serious enough charges, BUT, the ones to follow are…
    She committed fraud when she used a 501c non-profit for personal gain or benefit. I think this in itself deceived a lot of people because they just assumed they were going to ACHS to be adopted out (some were already stated to be pre-adopted). Most of these were unaltered too, with a lot of them just let out with a high chance of reproducing again (really helping huh). Others weren’t even let out of their carriers. Both show it was NEVER about helping the cats.

    When she decided to accept money through Paypal or the mail, she made this an Interstate crime, which is a Federal offense, and serious business. Hopefully the next arrest she has is from US Marshalls and not the local Sheriff’s Dept. I would think they are working on this now, and these charges will follow. They like to have their stuff completely in order before they come busting in…
    Unfortunately, the animal abuse charges here suck (noted by the low bond), but these Federal offenses can bring 5-20 years. She surely deserves it, and I continue to hope everyone comes forward to make sure it happens…

    So, she wants to “come home” and doesn’t need treatment. What does she think she is coming home too? Her deception days are over. I’m afraid she’s in for a rude awakening and one that is well overdue and deserved!

    • I have read quite a few comments and a good percentage of them say exactly what you’re saying, basically, so people who thought that the death of her father was a major factor in her subsequent behaviour are incorrect it seems to me. It appears that she is a classic cat hoarder added to which is a little bit of financial fraud, dare I say it.

      • Kathleen says:

        And perhaps a true Sociopath which is why she so easily duped us all.

      • Linda says:

        I lost my Father too…many years ago…nothing can ever take away the pain of losing a Dad you loved so much BUT there is no way in Hell I would have ever done something like this…her using the death of her father makes me physically sick…she was, pure and simple, using these innocent helpless animals as a means of making money…period….she is despicable.

        • Thanks Linda for all your excellent comments. Visit again please. In case I forgot to say: your future comments will be published immediately without moderation.

    • Jacob says:

      Well said! And that’s RHE darn truth, she will do mire time fir the financial fraud than the killing!
      THOSE billboards hanging in Anderson…”Anderson County will not tolerate animal abuse”…..REALLY?!?!?
      This case sends a very very clear message that elections are over and those billboards are BOGUS!

    • Linda says:

      It appears that she was ONLY in it for the money…cats in carriers and never let out…nursing kittens dead on their mummified Mom kitty….sociopath….I would hope the the Federal offenses would STICK and I pray Karma is just around the corner for this psycho sicko….these are the ones who give everyone in rescue a bad name…and make others hesitant to help…please I pray there is justice for these poor defenseless cats…. how on this earth anyone can continue to defend this “human” is beyond me.

  37. Barbara says:

    Terrible, heart breaking, surely she will be locked up for such awful cruelty. I hope Karma is just around the corner.

  38. She is or was mentally unstable to keep that many cats and later abandon them to their horrible fate. It would be difficult to think of a horror cat movie compared to this tragic real life cat hoarding and cat cannibalism.

  39. Dee (Florida) says:

    It sems to me that Julianne warrants more than the mere diagnosis of hoarder. What’s being unveiled goes so much more above that. She is a seriously, seriously disturbed woman.
    It’s hard to believe that so many people were clueless and never questioned her pulling so many cats from shelters.

    • Heather says:

      A rescue can pull from more than one shelter & they don’t communicate w/ each other. Shelters are so desperate to get animals OUT & not euthanize animals; they don’t always use the best judgement. So one shelter may have released a bunch of cats, not knowing she was pulling a bunch of cats from another. She may have taken from other rescues, foundlings, trapped feral cats, & taken in owner surrenders. Shelters really need a national system to see who pulls each cat & where it goes. The problem is so many rescues pull animals for other groups who can’t pull from a certain shelter & pass them off. It’s just a BAD system altogether.

    • Jacob says:

      JW pulled from multiple shelters across at least 2 states. She did this under the ACHS namesake without their knowledge. This is how she was never questioned…no one knew. Had she pulled over 400 cats from one shelter, it would have raised red flags. This is WHY she pulled from multiple shelters. She may be suck and deranged, but she was not stupid. She knew pulling that many cats from only one or 2 shelters would set off alarms which is why she branched out across SC, NC and possibly Tnn and GA as well.

      • Nice comments. Please come back.

      • Heather says:

        I do agree with that, red flags didn’t raise because of pulling from multiple shelters. However, transporters were responsible for ensuring the cats were placed in a safe foster home, which obviously didn’t happen. Transporters shouldn’t be afraid to take a cat back to a shelter. If they can’t be sure the cat will be safe, it should not be left. Many people in rescue don’t want to foster though. They just want to transport or cross-post, which IS important, but not the same as living w/ and caring for multiple animals. There really needs to me a national data base for shelters to keep track of WHO is pulling from WHERE.
        Don’t know if would work though since like I stated before, rescues pull for other rescues all the time & owners dump their unwanted on people like this.

  40. mike says:

    Very bad. Hoping for more survivors. Happy for Pearl. (is this one ok?)

    • Mary Elizabeth Todd says:

      Pearl was given to Julianne to be kept while her owner was moving- she had two other cats that have not been found- Pearl it appears was kept in a bathroom closed off and was fed and given water. the owner has asked repeatedly where her two other cats are- but has not got a good answer from Julianne- She was expecting to get her cats back soon when the case broke.

      • Sharon Rexford says:

        Some of the blame falls on the owners who left their cats with her, and didn’t check up on them.

        • Yes, there are some people who have visited who have admitted to giving cats to her. I agree, there are quite a lot people who “dumped” cats on her who are I suppose culpable to a certain extent for failing to check up on her “facility”.

  41. Mike says:

    Looking into Pearl’s eyes, they seem to say.. “If you only knew the things that I’ve seen…”

  42. Helen Snyder says:

    I am sick of people defending this monster. A suitable punishment for her is to lock her up and make her experience the same fate as the starved cats sitting in their own waste.

  43. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    This is just horrendous, far far worse than we originally thought, which was bad enough! Those poor cats, they must have suffered very much. There are no words to say how I feel about that woman, there really is no excuse for such cruelty!

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