Cat owners hope hoarding case leads to their pets - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Cat owners hope hoarding case leads to their pets

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MONROE (WKOW) -- Nearly a dozen cat owners anxiously wait to find out if their missing pets ended up in the control of a 78-year-old Monroe woman who hoarded cats.

Green County Humane Society Executive Director Laci Westgard says people who suspect their cats are among the more than fifty seized from Delores Marti's home last week have sent photos of their pets and information on the animals' distinctive traits to GCHS.  

Westgard says the photos are being compared to the seized animals to determine if there are any apparent matches.  Westgard says no identifying microchips have been found with any of the seized cats.

Westgard says some owners of missing cats have asked to come to the humane society to try to spot their cats, but she says they've been denied access to the animals for now.

Unfortunately at this point, the cats are still pretty scared and stressed out,"  Westgard tells 27 News.  "They haven't been fully checked out by our vets.  At this point (owners of missing cats) not able to view them."

Westgard says if photos and information indicate a possible match between a missing animal and a seized cat, arrangements will be made for an owner to see the cat.

Authorities say in addition to the seized cats, more than forty dead cats were discovered in a freezer on Marti's 19th Street property.

A search warrant affidavit filed in Green County Court says when officers went to Marti's home Aug. 15, they spotted Marti  "...attempting to move cats from her residence to a neighbor's garage."  The affidavit also says Marti had an adult cat and two, sickly kittens in her mini-van.  Authorities say the freezer was discovered Aug. 18.

A judge approved the Aug. 18 search of Marti's home based on the suspicion of the crime of felony animal mistreatment.

Friday, Marti agreed to transfer the seized cats to the humane society, and reimburse the city of Monroe $10,000.  City officials paid GCHS that amount to cover the cost of housing and caring for the cats.

Monroe Police Chief Frederick Kelley says he suspects Marti trapped some cats or otherwise gathered in roaming cats, accusations Marti denied to 27 News.

Officials say information on tracking missing cats can be found here:

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