Categories: hoarders

No crime for woman who hoarded 105 cats in apartment

Guelph, Ontario, Canada: report that a woman living in an apartment had surrendered 105 cats to the Guelph Humane Society last week.

The matter was investigated by the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) who decided there would be no criminal charges.

Their inspector attended the property. The owner relinquished all of her cats to the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) who said that some of them need medical care. Some basic medical care has been administered such as vaccines, de-fleaing and microchipping. The cats are not yet ready for adoption. All-in-all a fairly standard cat hoarding case except no charges under animal welfare legislation.


It appears that GHS were notified first and decided that PAWS needed to investigate. Therefore GHS decided that there was a potential crime (of animal cruelty) that needed to be investigated.

The interesting aspect of this rather typical story of cat hoarding is that the hoarder was not charged under animal welfare laws despite the concerns of GHS.

We don’t have hard details so we can’t comment on that but on the website their readers have the opportunity to have their say through clicking on a set range of options which I have reproduced below.

The results are interesting as the predominant emotion is anger and the second more common emotion is happiness.

Reaction of readers to story that a cat hoarder of 105 cats was not charged with an animal cruelty crime. It happened in Canada. The circumstances justified the decision although it is unusual.

Clearly the angry ones believe that the hoarder should have been charged (punished) while the happy ones are pleased that the cats were rescued and perhaps that there were no charges.

The results don’t surprise me as there is a general tendency to be angry at cat hoarders who often neglect the welfare of their cats because they are overwhelmed. This causes animal suffering which in turn sometimes warrants punishment under animal welfare laws.

I suspect that in this instance the hoarder’s agreement to give up her cats, and because the cats were not in very poor health under the circumstances, PAWS decided to close the matter without charge. This can be the best solution and you can add in some help for the hoarder’s mental health if it is appropriate.


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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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