Florida woman allegedly stole money and cats from animal rescue and hoarded the cats

NEWS AND VIEWS-FORT LAUDERDALE SOUTH FLORIDA, USA: Michelle Toulouse, 36, a South Florida woman was allegedly stealing cats and money from Saving Sage Animal Rescue, as an employee, and then hoarding those cats to the point that she had acquired more than 50 in her apartment at the time she was found out. The cats were allegedly starving and living in their own waste, while at least 10 had died. Toulouse claimed that she loved the animals. Comment: how did the rescue not miss the cats immediately?

Michelle Toulouse tries to avoid the press when leaving court
Michelle Toulouse tries to avoid the press when leaving court. Screenshot
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The president of the rescue organisation, Gina Vlasek, had let her go from the organisation and then later they discovered that she was a cat hoarder. She said: “We had to let her go. That was before we discovered what was going on in the house.”

Another worker from the rescue organisation decided to check on Toulouse’s apartment and discovered the 50 or more cats. The police were called and she was arrested last Tuesday together with her boyfriend, for theft. Surveillance cameras inside Saving Sage Rescue recorded Toulouse taking money out of a drawer in the office (see still image below) and another video recorded her boyfriend, Jerome Vaughn Jr., also stealing from the rescue organisation.

Allegedly the moment she stole the money from the rescue she worked for
Allegedly the moment she stole the money from the rescue she worked for. Screenshot

She’s been released from jail and her boyfriend has been bonded. At the moment they don’t know where she is. That is all we know at this time.

Comment: mental health comes to mind. Why else would a person steal cats from a competent rescue organisation to put them in an apartment with 50 other cats living in their own filth? It is bizarre and there is clearly a mental health issue going on here. Most cat hoarding is due to borderline mental illness because it is so irrational. They say that they love cats and then allow them to starve to death through neglect. It is blindness to their mental health problem.

P.S. Is Saving Sage Animal Rescue named after Sage the cat who was so brutally killed? It was a story that went viral for a long time and a Facebook page was set up. A private detective was hired without success. I wonder is this rescue is named after this cat? RIP.


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