120 cats seized from local vet’s rescue operation

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PERRY, Mich. (WLNS) — How can one woman care for 120 cats? Officials in Shiawassee County say she can’t, and they’re stepping in to take the animals away from her.

Animal welfare workers were in and out of pole barns surround the woman’s home on Winegar Road outside Perry.

“I’ve never heard of this many cats in one location,” said Undersheriff Walt McPherson of the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say they discovered around 120 cats roaming free in multiple buildings on the property.

After a month-long investigation, the sheriff’s office, along with local animal welfare groups took action.

“They’re finding a few in relatively poor health.  Not life-threatening, but low-poor mainly due to the conditions,” Undersheriff McPherson said.

Workers spent all day Wednesday removing cats from the property.

The sheriff’s office says the cats were placed there by a local veterinarian, who was using the property as a cat rescue organization.

Authorities say there may have been too many cats for one person to care for.

However, it will be up to prosecutors to determine if this was an illegal hoarding situation.

“We’re just disappointed to see any situation where perhaps animals are housed in conditions that are not appropriate for their care,” said Julia Willson, President and CEO of the Capital Area Humane Society.

All of the cats are being transferred to the Capital Area Humane Society

“For evaluation and also to provide emergency relief care for them. And to house them until a resolution can be made,” Willson said.

The sheriff’s office says a neighbor tipped them off one month ago.

But multiple neighbors tell 6 news they’ve been complaining for over a year, concerned about poor conditions at the rescue, and foul smells.

The veterinarian’s attorney identifies her as Nancy Bischof.

He gave 6 news a statement.

“The owner of the facility is here daily caring for the cats.

Any suggestion that she walked away or left them to die is completely inaccurate,” said Troy Clarke, Bischof’s attorney.

The undersheriff says this is still an active investigation and it’s not clear yet if charges will be filed.

“There’s a lot of animals here. Probably too many for the situation. But that’s up to the investigators to determine,” Willson said.

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