Woman known for her compassion towards cats arrested

The cat rescue world in upstate South Carolina is in a panic this morning after the arrest this week of one of our own. This is the story of a woman known for her compassion toward cats.

woman who loves cats arrested

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Julianne Westbury
Photo: Anderson County Detention Center
Julianne Westberry, 46, of Belton (Anderson County) has been arrested and charged with ill treatment of animals. Belton Police and Fire Department officials went into her home on Wednesday after following up on a tip of a horrible odor coming from the house. Inside they found more than 30 dead cats. One mother cat was mummified, with her kittens still trying to nurse on their mother. Another 30 cats were rescued, and taken to Anderson County P.A.W.S, which is the county shelter for Anderson. Some of the cats died en route to the shelter. The investigation is still ongoing, and more charges may come. I did an article here for Examiner, but wanted to add to it for my family here at PoC.

There’s still a lot of information that hasn’t come out yet, and I’ll update everyone when it does. Let me just say this situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I’ve heard there will be people going in to scan for microchips to see where all of the cats came from. Although it will be heartbreaking, I hope someone will scan the dead cats as well. Just so we know who didn’t survive being neglected and starved. The reason I say this situation will get worse is because it’s coming out now that Julianne pulled (rescued) more than 158 cats from various shelters just in the past few months. She even went into North Carolina. My kitten expert friend Ash Truesdale is still building the list.

I’ve never met Julianne, but considered her a friend. When dogs were at risk of freezing to the ground this past winter, Julianne and I stayed online organizing search and rescue for pets out in the cold without shelter. For those of you who don’t realize it, I write an article on every cat and dog that I can who are at risk of death at the high-kill shelter in Greenville. I’ve seen her name a lot, because her name is brought up on any cat who doesn’t have a rescue and is about to die. Julianne would usually step up and save the cat, sometimes on the day of its scheduled euthanasia. I, along with others, always breathed a sigh of relief knowing a cat was safe with Julianne.

There are those in the rescue community more upset than I am, because they’ve either taken Julianne cats, or talked her into rescuing them. Several of my friends have been in her home, some as recently as May, and the home was clean and the cats in excellent condition. Julianne recently suffered a devastating loss when her father passed away a few months ago. But none of us who knew her saw anything out of place with her care of the cats. She was very trusted by what now appears to be shelters in at least two states.

I was telling my daughter about this tragedy as they told it on the news last night. She looked at me and flat out told me the signs were there, in that Julianne was saving a very high number of cats. She has on her Facebook wall that she works for the Humane Society. I haven’t verified that, but I wouldn’t doubt it’s true, since we all thought she loved cats as much as life itself. I feel for her, because I know what it’s like for people to make you feel guilty when you refuse to save a cat. I learned our limit a long time ago, but even at our busiest never had the number of cats Julianne had in her home. I still have an email where I was told two cats would be euthanized if I didn’t take them. I still said no. A person involved in rescue has to set limits and stick to them.

Do you think the pulling of so many cats should have set off warning bells with those of us who called Julianne a friend? I’d still like to consider her a friend, and hope the media doesn’t crucify her over this. She must have serious emotional problems, and I’m thankful she hasn’t killed herself. So many women involved in rescue have turned to suicide over the past few years. But it’s hard to call someone a friend when I picture mummified and dead cats in her home. And to hear even more cats died on their way to the shelter. And then I look at the list with the dozens of cats Julianne was supposed to save, and more than 30 of them have Examiner articles written by me asking for help in saving their little lives.

All the young kittens, possibly dead. The two cats taken after a homeless woman was arrested. They were fat and healthy and everyone was hoping the homeless woman would one day be able to get them back, because they were in excellent health. And sweet Doris, who was a twin to our cat Coral. I had begged every rescue I knew to save Doris. I was so relieved the day I saw Julianne had her. Is Doris dead? Did she suffer?

I’d like to hear any thoughts you have on this. Right now, every woman involved in rescue in upstate South Carolina is overwhelmed. We don’t know what to feel. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know how we can ever stop this from happening again.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

206 thoughts on “Woman known for her compassion towards cats arrested”

      1. Recently there was a case where a woman took her dead pets with her each time she moved. We don’t know how long the cats have been dead. And finding at least a few dozen more…

      2. The mother and babies would look mummified if she left it sitting on the back porch in the hot sun baking. All their bodily fluids would come out then evaporate. Cats do not have a good tolerance for extreme heat. Also the ones laying in puddles of their own fluids inside the house suggests the air-conditioning was off and they had no water. As far as depressed I am not buying it she was sending emails a couple days before on the rescue she would be away at a educational conference. And she sent one of the shelters she pulled mom cats and babies from a donation for food for their shelter cats just a few days before she was arrested.

  1. From what I’m hearing now Julianne is at the hospital asking for help and people have found more than 25 more dead cats in drawers and closets at her home.

  2. Today I’m hearing Julianne has gone to the hospital for treatment. People are going thru her home and have found more than 25 dead cats in drawers and closets.

  3. I just find it all so incredibly sad. Sad for the cats as well for the woman. It does sound that there should be a clinical diagnosis for her here, and most likely, the diagnosis will explain in multitude what’s going on. Someone mentally ill, can’t necessarily be held responsible for their actions. What needs to be done is they need to be given medical help. I feel that any single one of us animal rescuers could slip into this terrible outcome. No one is completely immune. I myself am very guilty of taking on way more then I can handle, and am even more watchful and careful these days of what I commit to. Overall, tho, I do feel this is a failure of our society in general. Too many don’t want to do with the animal overpopulation in this country-world actually- and it is really every single human’s responsibility as we created it. The only way it’s going to get under control is if we put in place some very strict rules concerning animal ownership in general. I have given word to those specific ideas before, and get called an “extreme-ist” when I do but this is just another example of why it needs to be done! The problem isn’t with the animals, it’s with the humanity in general!

    1. I just find it all so incredibly sad. Sad for the cats as well for the woman.

      This is a fantastic point because it some way the story sums of what is wrong and tragic about many aspects of life in general.

      1. it requires some severe changes in our laws and our societal views as a whole. That animals are our property; that we have a right to do what we want with that said “property”; that cats are “free roaming” animals; that animals in general are secondary, or inferior even, to humanity. My thoughts? 1. require anyone to have to take a pet ownership class and get licensed, just like to drive a car, before being allowed to own ANY pet. 2. Anyone owning a pet without this licensing should be penalized 3. shut down all breeding whatsoever!! no puppy mills, no backyard breeders, no “good” breeders, nothing. 4. TNR like crazy. 5. Only allow licensed pet owners to adopt from rescues/shelters. no more buying purbreds, highbreds, nothing. 5. Severe penalties for cruelty, neglect, abandonment, etc. for licensed owners, and all privileges of said license taken away forever! That’s how I view it…so sad this this kind of extreme needs to be taken in the first place.

  4. Sounds like she was managing and then lost her mind in the last month. That’s extremely sad. It also is a scary lesson. IF you are managing something, anything, and you are working hard at it and close to your limit – that’s all well and good but life can change from one day to the next. You MUST have a short term exit strategy in case of disaster. You have to ask others for help.

    I think it just at some point goes past the limit and the person then has to keep it quiet – keep it to themselves – and try and sort it.

    But to have left animals to rot means there was something very wrong with her mind or she was incapacitated in some way. There is no way she would have done it on purpose.

    Also. She loves cats. They are her life. Her father died and perhaps she felt more directly the value of life and the effect of death. Maybe it made her decide to not let another cat die no matter what. Maybe she decided that anything was better than letting them die in the pound. But whatever happened she lost a grip on reality and her sphere of responsibility. I assume the cats died because she was too busy saving other cats to feed those cats she had. I mean if she was sitting doing nothing she would surely have cleaned up the smell. I think she was manic. I think every moment was a desperate race to save another cat from being killed. She probably got home one day and saw a dead cat and felt horrible for neglecting it. But probably she had to run out the door and save another cat in a matter of hours, perhaps minutes in her mind or in truth.

    In my opinion the only thing that could possibly be more important than feeding a starving cat which you can feed 2 hours later (or so you thought) is if there is a cat which has a needle pointed at it and you are the only one that can save it. Maybe then you’d just run for it and feed the other one when you got home – thereby saving them both.

    But that’s not rational – it’s emotional. It’s crazy.

    This woman has allowed cats to suffer and die horrible deaths i her own home – cats who she was supposed to have saved. She has actually made many of their lives worse than if they had been killed. But she loves cats. It’s just she is completely damaged I guess by her father and now these poor cats. If there is one thing you can be certain of, it’s that this woman is suffering beyond words. She is her own worst enemy. And what’s worse is it happened so quickly it probably doesn’t seem real to her. Her life just went to hell and became a nightmare and that’s a terrible tragedy.

    No matter who you are or what you do or where you live – you can never take yourself for granted. Life can always suprise you. You can always suprise yourself. But being aware of the fact that at any moment things can change keeps you in check. It keeps you sane. It keeps you open to your own scrutiny and it forces you to consider everything critically.

    I wonder what idea made her feel the need to take so many cats. It must have been something to do with death and life and her father. Maybe her values on the subject changed radically when he died. Maybe she had a distorted view of reality such that she could not see the things going wrong in front of her for some reason. Maybe she thought everything was ok because she really went mad. Maybe she was talking to the dead cats.

    It’s not possible to simply call this woman an animal abuser. She is not. No way. She lost her mind and destroyed the last thing she loved. Can you imagine her pain, and then on top of that she loses all her cats, her home, her freedom and she gets branded an animal abuser and is punished as such. I can’t imagine how awful that must be, how devastating. There must be more to it. Maybe she got sick. Maybe she was taking drugs. Drugs make people do irrational things.

    Perhaps her relationship with her father was extremely important to her sanity or survival. The thing is that people will think to themselves how they would not do a thing like that because of various reasons like the fact that they would stick to a limit and they would ask for help if need be. People will judge her based on what the know happened. But these judgements and reasons miss the whole point.

    This woman would also have called for help and stopped bringing in cats too. She probably even thought about it before and thought how she would never do such a thing and she would know when to reach out or stop rescuing more cats. We are healthy and able, and so was she not long ago. It’s easy to do the right thing when you are able to. We take our sanity for granted basically, and that’s why it’s easy to judge her as having not done the right thing, or having done the wrong thing, and to hold it against her. But she was not able to do the right thing. She probably didn’t even know what was right anymore. Something made her psychotic I guess. Obsessive compulsive.

    People who wish to hold it against her should then look at it differently. This was not her. She seems to have vanished and been replaced. It will be devastating when she finds herself again and regains her sanity. She will realize what has happened – and she will be punished for it. She will feel guilt – and she will suffer PTSD from it if she does regain her sanity. I don’t think you can move on from that.

    When you lose your sanity even for a short moment I think you realize how fragile you are. How easily and quickly everything can fall apart. It must be a bit like waking up with an agonizing hangover and learning you caused destruction the night before – except that in her case she never even had a drink, her dad died.

    I find it extremely hard to have any animosity towards a person, who for 99.99% of their life did an incredible job helping cats and who seemingly managed to achieve a great deal, all the while remaining in control and within her limits. I don’t believe people turn bad or were always bad. I don’t believe she is guilty. It wouldn’t make sense. There’s a powerful external factor or force which made it happen. There’s a story within the story which we may never hear. Lets hope the people in charge of her future know all there is to know. If they do then I am sure she will be found not guilty and probably mentally compromised.

    I hope that she can again live with and love a cat. I think that is probably the only thing left that could motivate her to carry on. But she might not be able to face cats knowing what she did and anyway she might not be allowed to sadly. If she regains her sanity but is not allowed to live with cats it would be sad and a waste – and probably extremely hard for her.

    She just moved in?

    They say moving is the most stressful thing in life. Stress makes people do all kinds of things.

    Then there is grief. For me, grief was like clinical depression of the worst kind. No energy, no appetite, nothing to say, nothing to want, no motivation, no satisfaction, anxiety, no good sleep and a complete void of emotions. Can’t laugh, can’t cry, can’t concentrate, can’t decide, can’t change, can’t do anything really. It’s very debilitating and I can see that if her father died and they were close, the level of grief could be extreme and result in her being incredibly unmotivated or able to deal with anything. But the thing about that is that she was busy collecting more cats. Somehow maybe her grief was expressed through obsessive compulsive cat collecting.

    I can relate in that I have too many bikes. I don’t have the room. I don’t have them all. I have bikes I own but have never seen. I make myself hungry buying bikes. They clog my life. It’s a sort of contained insanity. When they ruin my relationship or drain my bank account or limit my life making me unable to make choices I would prefer I feel like I’ve lost the plot and been totaly irrational and I feel ashamed. I lie about how many bikes I have. I lie about how much I paid for them sometimes. I don’t want to give away the fact that I compulsively collect bikes. It’s like an abject greedy addiction. You can even deny you have a problem and not realize it for a while. When decent bikes start to rust in your garden because you have nowhere to put them you can no longer claim to be preserving them. IT’s all the same in a way, I’ve ended up destroying the thing I know and love. I’m bringing home more bikes that need alot of work whilst I have perfectly good unfinished ones rotting away.

    I think it’s a sort of greed. Having, is consuming, in a way, and once you own it then you want more. For some it’s the hunt which is the best part. The incredible rare bike you find in a barn or for a few bucks at a garage sail. It’s such a buzz. You wanna keep doing it. You start planning to cover all the garage sales in the area. I’ve found amazing bikes in garbage in Oslo, I’ve infiltrated every source of used or disgarded bikes in all the places I’ve lived, I’ve got bikes in 7 countries. I’ve got bikes in MI in 2 places, OK, CA in 2 places, NY, FA, MA, one just left to here from Puerto Rico – and I am probably forgetting others.

    I can relate in I’m own way to the compulsive tendency to be destructive and imbalanced in my enthusiasm and inspiration for bikes. They are not cats. They do not breathe. They do not die in the same way. They are not organic. But I love them and I care for them and I neglect them too. I am still confronted with actions I regret. Everytime I see an ugly scratch or a broken part which I caused through negligence or carelessness I feel ashamed of my actions. I’d be at pains to admit some of the damage I have caused to irreplaceable pieces of history.

    I think when something like this happens and surprises us all it is our duty to search deep inside ourselves for a connection or relation the lady concerned. It’s our duty to assume her innocence. We need to prove her innocent. Not just because it would make the whole thing so much easier to digest, but also because everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. Nobody is immune to bad behaviour so it would be arrogant and vindictive to insist that she is evil, guilty and unforgivable. If you want to measure this in literal physical terms, the fact is she still probably has saved the lives of more cats than she has killed. Also she has probably done TNR so the effects of her actions are hard to quantify. She has most likely prevented many kittens from being born. So she deserves recognition for these efforts, for her dedication and hard work.

    Can we maybe then at least thank her for this while at the same time cursing her for that? She is going to feel misunderstood and we need to show her that we are fully aware of and appreciate all the amazing work she has done for the cats in her life. At least then she won’t feel like her capacity to be good has been forgotten. I think that would be devastating.

    1. Nice comment, Marc.
      The part I like most is that there always has to be a plan in place for the “what ifs”. It hard when you’re crazy busy; but, it has to be done.
      Also, as hard as it is sometimes, we have to let go of our damned pride and ask for help when we need it.
      Like your bike addiction/compulsion, saving cats can be that way too. It would be so easy for me to fall into Julianne’s position. I understand it completely but have to stay grounded.

    2. Nice comment.

      You MUST have a short term exit strategy in case of disaster.

      Things change in life. It is always shifting and it can be tricky to keep up. And it is possible to end up in a bit of a hole.

      Also if we want to work out he net contribution to society it would probably work out in the positive in relation to cats. I don’t have the full facts but my impression is despite this outcome she spent many years doing good work.

    3. This was happening long before her father died. I adopted my daughter with Down syndrome 21 years ago. Julianne adopted her 3 sisters 10 years ago. Only one still lives at home. The two older ones will tell you horror stories of the condition of their homes and the cats. I have seen and been in her homes and the odor was horrible. They all smelled of cat urine as well. The cats were sickly, left outside, dead in the road, you name it. She tried to get me to allow her to keep cats on my property. When I saw their condition I had to say no. I didn’t want my dogs and cats to get sick. That is when she moved them to Murdock Road, 160 there and how many more in other places?

      1. One of the places she lived and destroyed was our house in Honea Path. We finally got her to move out the weekend of May 17. I had not been in the house she rented from us for 2 years and 9 months. When I walked in the first time all I could do was gag, the smell and devastation was more than I could ever imagine. It took us a week to just scrape the cat feces off of the floors and out of the closets. We have thousands of dollars of damage done with no recourse. We have ripped up carpeting, drywall, linoleum and what was once beautiful hardwood floors. We may never be able to rid it of the smell. I found cat feces on top of the kitchen cabinets with chicken bones the cats had left. On the carpeting we ripped out of the bedroom was what had to be what was left of a decaying body…we are saddened she could pull the wool over our eyes the way she did when we signed the lease with option contract with her for two years.

        We thought we were giving her a chance at home ownership, but we were sadly taken in. We, after the fact, unfortunately went to her last known address before us on Redwood St. in Belton, and were devastated to smell and see the damage to that house. The smell was horrific. Sadly after talking with our lawyer there was nothing we could do to get her out of our house. My husband made several home inspections and the smell was terrible but there were no cats at the house during the inspections, and we thought the smell was coming from her belongings from the previous house. On the last inspection the smell was unbelievable. He found cat feces layered in the bathrooms in the bath tubs and in the master shower, it was horrific. She had put carpeting in a corner to cover up a huge pile of feces and urine that he didn’t see until she finally moved out. The walls had been sprayed with cat urine and the smell was unbearable. She tried to tell us the house was in such a mess because of her father dieing ,but her father had been ill for over a year and was elderly.

        We have many pictures of the living conditions in the home when she moved out. She had not even been sleeping in the house for months. She would just come to the house every few days and stay for 15 or 20 minutes then leave and be gone for a few days or a week or more, so I’m sure she was dumping cats in the house. We don’t know where she was sleeping or staying at that time. She paid her rent faithfully every month on time with no problem until our lawyer sent her a letter and told her to leave then she quit paying the rent. I can’t imagine the horrible life the girls must have had with her, I pray the girls get some help. I spoke with one of her daughters that told me its always been like this and she and her sisters had begged Julianne to get rid of all the cats and clean up. She had been laughed at in school and teased because of the smell I assume coming from her clothes. She finally got away and found happiness.

        The only one left is the 16 year old girl and she helped her mother move out of the house so she had been living under these conditions. I just hope no one will follow in our footsteps and rent a home to her because I believe she is a habitual hoarder of cats and I’m sure she will do this again. At least the owners of her new residence have the luxury of having help to clean up, my husband and I are the only ones working on our house and each month its putting us further and further into debt and we are an elderly couple on a fixed income. I’m very sorry about the cats and kittens as I am an animal lover, but I only own what I know I can manage. I lost my father and I didn’t stop feeding my dog or taking care of my home. And my husband lost his closest brother the same week Julianne lost her father so we understand the grieving but its been months and its time to move on. I think she is very aware of what she did and has done in the past.

        1. Mary Elizabeth Todd

          Irene, I would suggest that you contact the solicitor’s office with this evidence, and maybe file a complaint with them.


          1. And believe me MIchael, I have worked with Julianne for some time now rescuing cats, and have been in contact with her. There was no indication or red flags that there was a problem other than her mental state over the loss of her Dad. But all these people coming forward NOW, when they aware of a possible issue long ago,is going to make me reconsider how much longer I will continue to live in a state and devote every waking hour to rescue, where so many people could be so indifferent and allow something like this to go unnoticed for so long.

        1. Christine, I’m sorry about the animals and yes it is a tragedy, but Julianne was very good at covering up the smell and the damage when my husband asked to look in the house. There were never any cats present. We had to give a 24 hour notice and she had to be present for him to go in. She would put us off with excuses of having to work or being out of town, giving her plenty of time to hide cats and clean up a little. She kept crazy hours and would come and go at all hours of the day and night. The girls never complained to us and we had no way to prove she had cats in there without going in when she wasn’t home which was against the law. She always had the windows covered and the doors closed. We are in our 60’s and 70’s and thought we were a little old to be going to prison for breaking and entering.

      3. It really would have been responsible for people close to this situation to have spoken up YEARS ago. Where was the Division of Child Services ? How is it possible that this could have been going on for so many YEARS and YEARS without ANYONE speaking up ????



        There is something interently wrong in the state of South Carolina for this to have happened, and for people to have allowed this to happen.

        1. You make a good point but perhaps your point applies more widely to many cases of cat hoarding. I feel confident that someone knows when someone is hoarding and getting things very wrong before animal control finds out.

      4. I have to know why this wasn’t reported to someone? If anyone knew she kept cats in horrible conditions and dead on the road why did it go on? Much could have been done it seems. This comment really saddens me.

  5. Ekaterina Reier

    Are you seriously defending her? No amount of emotional trauma gives you license to be a monster! I would probably be less inclined to hate her if she took a gun and shot all of her cats. But leaving them to starve?….

    1. I don’t think anyone is defending her. We should be careful about how we judge her. I don’t think we know all the facts but I agree that there can be no excuses even if she was very depressed.

  6. I’d like us to think of this lady now. She must care for cats deeply. That is the impression I get from the comments. She has lost her dad and now her cats and is probably very depressed. Her life has caved in. I hope someone is looking out for her. I have a feeling this is not a crime (i.e. not in the public interest to pursue it). This is a person who needs help and some TLC.

  7. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Well I hope the people who dumped their unwanted cats who ended up with Julianne, feel guilty right now!
    It’s a problem amongst rescuers that they become overwhelmed once people start to realise that person will never turn an animal away.
    Then when the well meaning person can’t cope any more, those who help to cause these problems weep and wail and put all the blame on her when in fact it’s mostly them to blame for disposing of a living animal like an unwanted old possession.

  8. I heard about this today. Needless to say I am extremely upset, just sick. I had sent many cats to her feeling they would be safe and taken care of. Now, I can’t help but think they all suffered. I was lead to believe they would be vetted immediately. I understand she lost her father but that can’t be an excuse. I lost my father and mother a year apart, they were the loves of my life . I have limited myself to a certain number to give each proper care. There is no excuse watching them suffer in such a horrific manner. Sadly, hoarders get overwhelmed, want to be a savior for every cat but they end up being the cruelest. The reality is that every cat can’t be saved. It is heartbreaking but I find solace knowing they will be in heaven. I may be hard on her but hearing of the suffering infuriates me..

      1. I inadvertently sent some private citizens her way in a cross post. Now I have to live with that. Their cats were very healthy a month a go. In reading her posts and activates posted in recent months I do not see anything that suggests she had a nervous breakdown. Everyone’s elderly parents pass away it is a fact of life. I was told she had adopted fostered children as well. When you adopt they do a pretty through mental evaluation and health check up. Where was the Humane Society she pulls for? Her mother, her daughters. If people were just at her new house a month ago how did all these animals die?

        1. It is tough when that happens. I have read quite a few of these comments and also the author of the article is told me that they have now discovered 25 cats in drawers inside her home. I mean dead cats. So the more I read about this person the more I think she is a classic cat hoarder who completely lost her way as cat hoarders do because it is a mental condition.

  9. I have worked with Julianne. I have met her at the Humane Society’s spay neuter clinic to deliver cats that she was rescuing from Charlotte. I fostered a mamma and baby and kept them that Julianne asked me to help with. She lives and breathes to help animals. Something is amiss.

    1. My reading of the story definitely hints that something is amiss as you state. I hope ELisa gets the chance to do a follow up and I hope someone finds out what happened.

  10. WOW Michael, from the looks of my notifications you’re going to be busy moderating comments for this article. WAKE UP!!

  11. Woody, you are like an annoying child hanging onto mom’s pants leg and saying “buy me that” over and over until mom learns to ignore the behavior.

    You’re being ignored because you speak up too much and say too little that really matters. Poor Woody. It’s a shame Michael has to moderate the comment of an adult man. So sad…


    I think that rescue organizations should be required to show their ability ergo: space, labor, average yearly funding, and veterinary care arrangements at which point a maximum number of pulls is decided upon.

    When cats are adopted out or fostered the rescue is given back a pull. ALL foster families and adoptive families must be verified as real and true person and fosters by address and phone verification.

    Adopters by payment of fees and microchip registration. No rescue can be a one person show. To be recognized as a rescue with pull privileges a rescue must have a minimum of three (unrelated) administrative persons with access to the main and any sub facilities as well as all records financial, medical, adoption and foster.

    A record of at least two of these persons in attendance at main and sub facilities for similar hours each week would be required.


      Well maybe not 3 admins. but at least one other in order to ensure the cats well being is and basic needs in the areas of health, hygiene and nutrition, as well as socialization are being met.


        I think safeguards, checks and balances need to be in place so that be their burnout, breakdown, bankruptcy, or bad apple…they will not be capable of covering up,because they cannot work as a solitary entity and have pull privileges. I just a few weeks ago read a similar story involving a well known woman who rescued dogs… 37 bags of canine remains were found in a barn. She’s claiming massive distemper outbreak and unfortunately the nearly mulched remains of the dogs are not of a condition where cause of death can be determined.


        1. I agree that there needs to be good safeguards. Perhaps a problem is that the rescue centers are keen to use people like Julianne because of the excess of unwanted cats/dogs and this puts pressure on them to be a little bit slacker than they should be.

          1. you are exactly right Michael, shelters are pressured to be no kill, there is a horrible virus nationwide infecting shelters, a retro virus , “PCVAD also masks itself as other illnesses, making diagnostic testing essential,”
            “If you see circovirus and if it causes disease, we need to know what else you have in combination with it,” Halbur says. “Concurrent infections often accompany the virus.”
            virus is shed in feces, urine, saliva and respiratory secretions,
            Yet exactly how PCV2 plays a role in the disease’s manifestation is not well understood. Typically, the virus needs triggers such as co-infections and environmental stressors to result in PCVAD.
            “There are two thoughts,” Halbur says. “The most common is that there’s a new, more virulent PCV2 strain that has been introduced and has quickly spread. Another is that there is a new triggering agent, another virus or bacteria, that’s causing PCVAD to become more of a problem.”
            Making a diagnosis
            The disease complex’s varying clinical signs compounds diagnosis difficulties.
            PCVAD used to occur mainly in young, weaned pigs, resulting in extreme and sudden weight loss, jaundice, diarrhea, enlarged lymph nodes causing immune suppression and labored breathing. Hepatitis, nephritis and pneumonia often followed. Skin lesions, neurological deterioration, kidney failure and death characterize more severe cases.
            immunosuppressive condition associated with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2).
            It’s a new name for what was formerly known as postweaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome. Dr. Pat Halbur, professor and chair of ISU’s Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, reports 2,360 confirmed PCVAD cases in 2006, compared with 964 cases last year.
            it came from the pigs into people swine flu, then birds bird flu then dogs now cats and can be transferred to and from humans

        2. so many apply for the huge bag of money attached to them called pledges, some well over 300$ , must be at least 100 + before anyone takes them, many toss cats together and get more, i have seen shelters let a rescue take as many as 20 at a time that can be 6,000 bucks for vetting etc but goes in the pocket of “rescue” which is one household living off the money and the cats are tossed together never seeing a vet, sending money to vet instead of rescurers hand would stop this.

    2. Mary Elizabeth Todd

      I agree completely. There should be records inspected for relicense at least once a year.
      Right now the state of South Carolina does not require this.

        1. I am so sad for this woman, who wanted to do good. But random checks of her previous homes would have found problems with odor and cleanliness. If it had to come to this to get her (and the cats) help, perhaps some good will result from tragedy. I will hug my two kitties a bit more tonight.

            1. I could try that but it means another plugin and plugins slow down the page load speed times and sometimes they cause compatibility problems etc. etc.! I like simplicity but I will take on board your suggestion. Thanks Hope.

    3. We have this in my state. We have to report to the state each year — number of animals we take in, number we get adopted, number that die in our care. Unfortunately, some do die despite our best efforts. But most thrive and are adopted.

      Does South Carolina not have a similar system? That seems ridiculous and yet I know a lot of “rescuers” that simply bypass the system by bringing in cats from out of state and likely don’t report them. Every time one dies (as they inevitably do without funds/vet care), they cry “FIP!!” and it’s on to the next one.

      So sad.

      It sounds to me like in this situation, this woman bypassed the system completely and pretended to be a representative of a group she volunteered for when in fact she was not authorized to pull for them.

  13. I just read her story… and I have to telll you I know exactly what happened… it mentions her father recently died… and I have to be honest.. that my mother recently died..

    I lost my father 9 years ago.. and all of a sudden it hit me. I am adult orphan.. and i have been in an up and down rollercoaster of emotions and phases… to the point that i have not cared about ANYTHING not even myself… and I have to be honest.. I have rescued and have fosters and..if it was not for my boyfriend (thank you for being up my ass) i would of probably slipped into and spiraled into some insane and overwhelming depression as this lady has done.. yes

    i will be honest there have been days i have not had the will to get out of bed and if it was not for him my cats would have not been fed or litters cleaned. My boyfriend keeps nagging me of the fosters I have here and I have not done a thing and to move them along… and at this point i dont even have the strength or will to meet new people interview them and do home check..trust me i feel for this lady once i read the part of her father dying..

    I am still doing through my mothers apartment its awful..i could be totally wrong…Iam sure her heart was in the right place.. just everything fell apart after her father passed away… and I also read in the article that people angry at her because they talked her into taking cats and they brought her cats… i am mad at the people because those people could of taken care of them themselves but get mad at somebody who is trying.. nobody knows what happened to her after her father died…

    I know recently when my mother died… so did I… please read this… and maybe not be so quick to judge her… thank you I speak for myself… and I am telling you I was telling my friend the other day how embarrassed i am of my life.. my house smells like it has never smelled before… and why because i fell off the radar of reality.. and as i said if it was not for my boyfriend…. I would prob be this lady… my heart goes out to her…and I know oh tooo welll on all those people that come to you crying because you save cats and they want you to save them also.. I have had people show up at my door and I have turned away..the thing is you know you have to have your limit..and sometimes realize you cannot save the world.. i feel bad for her

      1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

        I was 47 when our late mother died, 20 years after our dad. I always remember an unsympathetic ‘friend’ saying
        ‘Did you think the world would come to an end just because YOUR mother died?’
        Well yes I DID think that, because most of us have never known the world without our mother have we!

        1. I’m following the story on FACEBOOK. So terrible. But I do know how devestating the death of a parent can be. I lost my mom when I was 21 – my dad when I was 25. You take it one day at a time, but there were days when I couldn’t have told you one thing that I had done that day … it was all a blurr.

          1. Poor you. I sense how you felt. You were young at the time. I lost my parents when I was about 60 years of age and it wasn’t that hard. I guess when you get older you are less connected.

    1. Mary Elizabeth Todd

      I lost 11 people in two years including my last sibling and my mother- my father died in 87 and my other siblings in 1998.

      I agree death can be crippling- but I learned from my mother who buried three sons, her husband, both her parents, and all but one sibling( there were six of them) plus a multitude of cousins and friends prior to her death. You pick up your life and go on- there is no other real choice- you can chose to stay in the grief or you can work beyond it- and trust me there is joy to be found

      It has been six years since my mother died…and I do miss her and in fact I miss them all deeply- I had to rebuild my entire life. IT was hard work.

      But one thing I learned is this- every body deals with grief just enough alike to understand the depth to which it can take you- but every journey thru the field of grief is your own journey and you cannot compare to another’s grief or even the next time you grieve because there will be a next time.

      here is the other thing to remember- Grief cannot be the sole excuse- there was neglect- does not seem as bad as abuse- we all think that- but think on this neglect kills more children and elderly than abuse ever has- and it rarely is intentional- and that is the hard part- because there have all been moments when maybe we were not as careful as we should have been- but neglect is deadly just the same- In the end a Court of Law will judge her. It will either be proven to be true or not.

      in the meantime many of us who worked to save these animals are reeling from this- and that too is a form of grief. Please understand some of our reactions is a reaction to that grief.

      1. Grief cannot be the sole excuse

        I like that observation. Good one. If she really cared for the cats I would have thought she would not have let them die all around her through neglect no matter how depressed she was. It would have taken a phone call or two to fix the problem.

  14. I networked with Julianne last year to save cats from a local shelter. Because she had a large network of fosters in the area and was able to get free vet care from the Humane Society due to volunteering there, she was able to pull many at once. Many times the cats were broken up into smaller groups, all going to different fosters. She often knew exactly what she was looking for because, as she explained it, through her and her family’s connections through church and other community gatherings, it was not uncommon for people to let her know exactly what kind of cat they were looking for. Color, size, temperament, etc. She kept her eyes open and pulled with these requests in mind. There were many times she said she could not help, because she was full.

    I do not believe Julianne was a hoarder. I believe she suffered a breakdown due to more than one recent, substantial losses. People are fragile, and she needed help. Her error was in not asking for it.

    Of course my heart goes out to the many cats who suffered while in her care, but it also goes out to Julianne because one day she will have to face this.

    1. Your comment makes me think of Julianne and how she feels now. It is must be really bad. We wish her the best. I hope someone is helping her and not treating her too badly.

      1. Suzanne Biererr

        That is kind of you, Michael. If we learn that this was just another hoarding situation gone bad (which they always do), it is still an illness. What we need are spay/neuter laws in this country but given the NRA and AKC’s interest in preventing them, it doesn’t look good.

    2. If you know of any of her pulled cats who are safe please let me or Ash Truesdale know. Ash is very worried about mamas with litters and I’m worried about Doris. The dead cats have been scanned and the shelters pulled from supposedly. Have that info.

      1. I posted on 2 of Ash’s pics today as I confirmed the whereabouts of 2 of the Harnett County cats. They were scheduled to go to Julianne on transport this week but instead are safe and sound with a local rescuer while they look for a new rescue. Info is provided on the pics as well as the rescuer’s paypal for anyone that feels like donating to her with these 2 unexpected guests.

        Like most of you that know her I too am and shocked and saddened. She is not a monster, just a troubled woman that needs help. I’m sorry these innocent cats paid the price, but I pray she gets the help she needs. Last year she organized a last minute transport at the end of November to get a euth listed senior black cat from Greenville, SC to me in Knoxville, TN. Without her help and the help of several others Lola would not be here with us tonight. I just keep thinking of all the Lolas out there, and it helps to soften my heart and not scream the obscenities and give into the anger that so easily spews from me when it comes to animal suffering.

        1. “just a troubled woman that needs help”…?!
          54 cats are dead! She did not forget to feed herself. They did not even have water! Cats dead in the carrier – means they were brought in
          and never even looked at again! She did not forget thou to pay her cable bill with the pledge money!
          When I think what these poor souls went through?! Crazy or not – NO Mercy!

      2. Suzanne Biererr

        Elisa, I will let you know if I learn anything but I’m sure you will hear something before I do. Julianne had 3 of my friend’s cats in her care (friend was moving) and we are trying to get more information on them. Can you share with me whatever info. you get, too? Do you have pictures of the deceased cats?

        1. Ash Truesdale is still trying to get info. Anderson PAWS scanned the dead cats and we hope they’ll help get the word out about who lived. I have the check her facebook page because I don’t hear well on phone so can’t call anyone. Julianne said they didn’t starve so I wonder what cause of death was.

    3. Exactly, Suzanne. I think so many people get so self-righteous about things like this because they know it easily could be them.

  15. It saddens me, angers me and everything in between. Waiting to here if that is where any of our fosters were.

  16. I can so easily see how a kind hearted person can fall so deeply. into that situation.
    It’s incedibly hard to maintain the boundaries of what can be handled financially and physically. But, it just has to be done. I hate it myself.
    I agree that poor Julianne must have just snapped in her grief. I’m sure that, in her right mind, she would not have 30 dead cats in her midst.
    She doesn’t need jail. She needs help.

  17. You’re failing the quiz again, Jimbo.

    Can you follow what’s being written here, Jimbo?
    Can your mind follow the train of thought at all?
    Can your comments be relevant to the subject?
    Have you licked a bird’s ass recently so that your brain is filled with bird doo-doo?

    1. HeyMORONS(redux)

      How’s that “no-kill” campaign working out for you?… remainder deleted as rude and stupid (Michael Admin)

      1. Awww…
        So long old friend.
        Your sweet words made me swoon.
        You’ll have you hanging (oops! I mean day)in the sun someday.

      2. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

        Woody sounds to be getting even more desperate to insult as many people as he can, his sanity has completely gone now!
        Maybe the men in white coats will collect him in a straitjacket soon lol

  18. HeyMORONS(redux)

    Then there’s cats’ most insidious disease of all, their Toxoplasma gondii parasite …

    deleted by Michael because it was too boring….repetitive and mind-blowingly paranoid.

    1. How quickly you have forgotten the quiz, Jimbo.

      Can you follow what’s being written here, Jimbo?
      Can your mind follow the train of thought at all?
      Can your comments be relevant to the subject?
      Have you licked a bird’s ass recently so that your brain is filled with bird doo-doo?

  19. My heart breaks for the cats, and for all in rescue…jeez, there, but for the grace of God…
    my heart breaks and we want to save all of them, and do our best. If more would help, we wouldn’t have this sort of t hing happen.

  20. I am truly saddened by this information. If she was overwhelmed (sounds like she was), she should have cried out for help. If her home was in great condition just a few months before, what happened to cause the sudden downturn? I pray for her and all the kitties involved in this. . . Hopefully, there will be a bright side to the end. . . God bless Julianne for trying. . .

    1. all 11 of mine are adopted or rescued, I had 13 at one time, but I know that I am at my limit both room-wise and financially. . .believe me, if I had the room and more $$ I would help more. . . breaks my heart to see so many needing homes — especially with the STUPID excuses that some are surrendered!!

      1. I try to write an Examiner article on every cat and dog at the Greenville shelter. The shelter has even started posting photos before the animal is available and that helps. Today and tomorrow the shelter goal is to adopt out 100 cats. Adoption fee is a case of canned food of $15.

    2. That’s one thing driving us all crazy. Her home was fine last month. I think she had just moved in. But to be rescuing from so many shelters that none of us knew about. I think she lost part of her mind when he dad died. It hit her very very hard. A lot of shelter cats are in bad shape when rescued but if a cat dies you don’t just leave it where it died.

      1. I am praying for her. It can be very devastating to lose a parent. Both of mine are gone, and it still hurts like hell, but I can’t stop living my life and taking care of myself, my son OR my kitties as a result. . .

        1. I write as therapy. Started doing it November 2009 the day after I buried my ex from cancer. It keeps me together. I’ve done over 2000 articles now.

          1. Believe it or not, my cats are my therapy. I have always called the anipals “little temples of God” for what they can do for us. There is nothing like coming home from work — and no matter what kind of night I’ve had (I work nights), and coming into the unconditional love and reverence they have for me. Everything just melts, and I get a huge smile on my face and in my heart. I truly cannot be without my “kids” (including my son — we are BEST friends).love and prayers — God bless!!

              1. thank you Michael. I can truly feel God’s presence when my kitties are with me. I just can’t really put the feeling I get into words other than — it’s pawsome!!

      2. It broke my heart when my Dad died…but it did not turn me into a sociopathic abuser. I don’t buy that this house was fine one month ago…Don’t buy it AT ALL….Also saw where the house was adjacent to City Hall and the police department…I find it impossible to believe someone could be bringing in this many animals and NO ONE see anything…most likely the woman who finally blew the whistle was one of many who saw (and smelled ) the horror…but was, sadly, the only one who got involved. Thank God for her….

    3. It is really about the age-old problem of decent people trying to clean up the mess left by irresponsible people. Unfortunately there are more irresponsible people than good people and so there are more unwanted cats than there are people to take them on and find homes for them and then the person gets flooded out with cats and can’t cope any more.

      1. I know what you mean, but like you mentioned, one just must learn to set limits. I know I couldn’t take on any more and be able to properly take care of them. It’s such a sad situation. My heart just aches for the kitties I share and crosspost on facebook — especially when I read some of the lame excuses for surrenders.

  21. Tiggre and Buddy are the two who were turned in after their homeless caregiver was arrested. Everything was being done with the hope the lady who took such excellent care of them could one day get them back. When I heard of the mummified mama cat with her dead babies still latched on to her it about crushed me. We all wonder why Julianne didn’t reach out for help.

    1. It looks like she might have become dispirited after her father died and lost the motivation. She may have become depressed. That seems to be the most likely thing that happened and because of that lost motivation and went down from there.

      I think it is very sad to be honest because if is she was coping well beforehand then she was doing lots of good but she appears to have always been on the edge of doing what was possible.

      1. I have lived in the same neighborhood with this woman and i can tell ya this has nothing to do with the death of her dad..It was going on long before her dad died…The ones on here that are defending her don’t know anything about the real Julianne..The law needs to be more stiffer on such things, these poor animals had to suffer for all her neglect…Maybe they ought to put her in a house with no air and no food or water and see how she likes that!!

        1. I agree with you this type of behavior doesn’t happen all at once. I’m sure she’ll (and her lawyer) will use her fathers death as an excuse but more than likely her rescue work was attention seeking. I’ve rescued and fostered dogs and cats for more than ten years and I’ve seen people like this. Also I’ve worked in health care for more than twenty five years and our parents dying is how the cycle of life is suppose to go. Ask any parent who has lost a child, that’s not what is suppose to happen. And one doesn’t have to be mentally ill to be cruel, but I’m sure there will be many “excuses” used to defend her and anyone who does this type of cruelty but our laws on animal cruelty need to be stronger.

          1. I read an article indicating someone had been to her home recently and the home was clean. BULL…..There is no way this happened overnight…also the whole argument that losing her Dad was the cause of it…no way…this questionable human was using her “rescue” as a means of making money…you don’t bring cats in to your home and just leave them in their carriers…that alone shows she had no interest in the cats..just the money that went along with the rescue…and these are the kinds of people who give the rescue community a bad name…and make people not want to help. inexcusable…

        2. This is sickening, sadening & downright disgusting… the cats would have been better off euthanized than to have her “rescue” them. I seriously hope the maximum penalty is applied to this case!

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