Introduction: I confess that I am rather reluctant to publish this article because we have probably have had enough of Julianne Westberry. However, Eliza, has written what will presumable be the final article in this saga.
The reason for it is laudable because it seeks closure on the matter of identifying the cats involved. I think that this is a decent and sensible thing to do because after all these cats had owners at one time of one sort or another. The cats need to be accounted for. I hope you agree.
Here, therefore, is Eliza’s article.….
Since beginning these, I’ve been called a ‘witch hunter.’ I can assure everyone this is untrue. My main objective is to be sure this situation never, EVER occurs again. Hundreds of cats are possibly dead at the hands of this one woman who supposedly loves cats. Hopefully this story will locate a few more of the missing. It will also give those who have positive things to say about Julianne to do so here.
I’d also like feedback on whether what good Julianne did for however many years she was in rescue has now been canceled out by the deaths of at least 57 cats. Those are only the ones found dead in the home. A few of the survivors pulled from the Belton home aren’t expected to recover, due to organ damage caused by starvation. Whether any cats died at the farm, well, we’ll never have an accurate count on that.
Can someone who is responsible for so many deaths of beautiful, trusting cats ever rally back and become a respected member of the rescue community at some time in the future? Or will Julianne now be known as the hoarder who locked her cats in carriers, rooms in her home, and the crawlspace under her home without food or water and allowed them to die a slow and agonizing death? How do you bounce back from something this serious? Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to restore a reputation, once this much damage has been done. Julianne didn’t lose a bunch of cats to illness, which happens with a lot of death row rescues. She created a situation a cat couldn’t possibly live through. Trapped, starved and dehydrated is something done deliberately, and not an accident.
Personally, I have a lot of good memories of Julianne before her arrest. She was always quick to return messages on Facebook, and everyone in the rescue community thought highly of her. There were people in the rescue community who visited her home shortly after she moved, and there was no clue anything was wrong. Yes, Julianne has mental issues to deal with. The question is how far can a mental condition take the blame for leaving the cats alone, unfed, unwatered and-dare I say it-unloved? Keep in mind sociopaths and psychopaths also suffer from ‘mental conditions.’ That’s a medical diagnosis, and not an excuse for what happened to those poor cats.
I’m not surprised she still has friends who support her. There was a murder about an hour from me last year, where a man killed his girlfriend and four members of her family before killing himself. His family praised what a good cousin he was on Facebook. There are always people who will remain faithful to someone, no matter what.
Now for the second reason I’m writing about Julianne and her ‘rescues.’ Those of us in the rescue community have worked non-stop for the past week hunting down the almost 500 cats rescued by Julianne over the past year. Ash Truelove continues to add to the Dead of Alive album on her Facebook page. A few people have come forward saying they have one or more of the cats Julianne pulled from one of the near dozen shelters she rescued from. This is a plea to ask more to come forward.
This isn’t an effort to get a foster or adopter in trouble. We simply need closure that more cats are alive than dead. The number of those found alive has risen since many were dumped to fend for themselves on a farm. It’s sad a cat had a better chance of surviving a coyote than inside what was supposed to be a loving home.
If you have one of the cats in this album, please post a new photo to prove that cat is alive. We need some good news amidst all the death. If you don’t want to leave your name, that’s fine. Just please show us some of the cats survived, and that Julianne did some good during her time in rescue. Many of these cats may have been adopted out through Petsmart in the Anderson, South Carolina area.
Message to Julianne
Julianne, if you read this, please give us a list of those you know are dead. Only three have been identified from the house, and we need to memorialize those who died. Big Boy,Venus and Milly (along with their kittens) were identified through the microchips in these nursing mama cats. If you don’t know the names of those who didn’t survive, either from your Belton home or your previous residence, that shows how little you really cared.
I’ve included a few photos of cats who have made it out of Anderson County PAWS, and are sleeping in a comfortable home tonight.
Digit: This long haired beauty has an enlarged liver. They are doing iv and force feeding, with an exam scheduled for today. It will take a miracle for this poor beauty to survive
Lilly & Heather: Both are expected to recover and are doing well.
Tiggre & Buddy: Buddy was found alone and emaciated at the farm where many of the cats were left to fend on their own. Tiggre hasn’t been found at this time.
If you can help financially with the care of these cats, please send a few dollars to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who choose not to support Julianne, what was your breaking point. I’ll start out by saying my heart hardened toward Julianne after hearing cats were left to die in the carriers they were rescued in. This information is in the police report, and not an exaggeration. What was yours? And if you still support Julianne, please leave a comment as why you choose to do so.