Introduction by Michael: Although a slightly forgotten, infamous individual, Julianne Westberry was well known as the cat hoarder who cynically and successfully played the cat rescue network to receive praise and money. But cats starved to death on her premises. She was in charge of a cat house of hell. There has been a long delay to punish her for criminal behavior which includes animal cruelty. Actually I am surprised the prosecution services have proceeded against her; not because she does not deserve it but because prosecutions against these sorts of crimes are uncommon. There are a series of articles on the Westberry saga which you can read here.
There’s not much progress being made in the Julianne Westberry case at this time except for a court appearance yesterday. Westberry had a hearing set for Thursday, September 17 along with many other legal cases. She made an appearance as is required by law but was dismissed due to other cases having precedence over her case. The hearing will be rescheduled.
It’s been a very harsh week for everyone involved in the case against Westberry. From the Anderson County PAWS (shelter) who scanned the dead cats for microchips, to the ones who handed over cats from transport thinking they were on their way to a new home, to those of us following in the shadows of Westberrys’ cruelty, we’re basically going through PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) caused by Westberry.
PTSD and loving cats won’t get anything accomplished against Westberry. What occurred yesterday may be in the best interest of building a better case. Victim Advocate Brenda Smith of the South Carolina 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office has viewed the YouTube video below made last summer and Ash Truesdale and I photographed the surviving cats the Anderson County PAWS. Smith understands we all want Westberry to serve jail time and are upset she was only charged with a couple of offenses.
Warning-video will make you cry!
This article is in part a call out to anyone out there who feels they have been a victim of Westberry. Anyone who pledged money to Julianne Westberry is asked to contact the 10th Anderson County Solicitor’s Office at (864) 260-4046 and leave your info with the receptionist or speak with Brenda.
Victims who contact the Solicitor’s office should stress that probation and a fine aren’t enough. Please don’t tie up the phone line just saying you want Westberry to suffer for what she’s done without being a solid part of the case. Brenda has over 50 cases, and it would distract from her other work.
I’ll do my best to keep everyone informed of new developments. It’s not known at this time whether Westberry will go before the judge in October. If not, court cases go down during November and December, and it will likely be January 2016 before her next court appearance.
Before anyone asks why she received so few charges, I don’t honestly know. I have learned cats are often considered less important by the courts. There have been dog cases in the Carolinas and Georgia where the person committing the abuse received one charge for each injured animal.
I think it sad we can’t even get a charge for a DEAD animal. Especially the innocent cats who thought Westberry was taking them to a better life and the animal advocates who believed in her.
Please feel free to comment below on any of this. Share this article widely, as there could be hundreds of victims who sent Westberry money, considering there are over 800 cats missing (not including the rescued or those found dead).
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