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More than 100 cats found at North Hills man's home, 7 dead ones in freezer

Los Angeles city prosecutors charged a North Hills man Friday with multiple counts of animal neglect for allegedly hoarding more than 100 cats and keeping seven dead ones in his freezer.

James Howard, 58, also was charged with operating a shelter without a permit.

His alleged cat hoarding was discovered by the Los Angeles Animal Control Task Force, working on a tip.

Once at Howard’s residence, investigators counted 103 cats on the property and more than 80 living in a motor home. They found seven dead cats inside a freezer.

Howard could face up to one year in jail for each count of animal neglect and 180 days for operating a shelter without a permit, city prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 6.

RELATED:

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4 cats found mutilated in El Monte park

Woman who drugged, painted horses as part of sales scam sentenced

-- Richard Winton

Click for crime reports across L.A. County on The Times' interactive database

 
Comments () | Archives (12)

Complete waste to charge him. He's mentally ill but harmless. Help him.

Agrred. He needs help, not loading up into our legal system over a bunch of cats. Our great system will just toss him into jail while the rest of his life spirals downward. Then let him out to an empty World that doesn't care about him. Then, it will likely be a heinous crime that grabs hime the next headline. Please help our mentally impaired in some way other than prison. And if you don't think he's mentally impaired, please tell me of how many middle-aged males you know that keep 100+ cats.......

Charging him is exactly how to help him. The prosecutors and investigators don't ask for jail time for hoarders. They ask for probation so that they can conduct checks to ensure they are not returning to the same behavior, and counseling. They may even request a mental evaluation and for a doctors recommendation for treatment.

I hope he gets the help he needs. I'm sure in his mind he was just trying to protect them. Hoarders have a very real problem that needs counseling and intervention not jail time. I know how hard it is to let go. Hope the courts can see that.

Maybe he can get his own reality show?

The freezer seems like the most logical place to store some dead cats.

I work with catladies, cat-gentlemen, and normal folks who help to care for large wild cat colonies. The networks & organizations I work with help Cat Caretakers to trap, neuter, and vaccinate all their wild cats. We also find homes for the healthiest friendliest kittens and adult strays who can be rehabilitated and placed as pets.

Hoarding seems to happen when some poor dear feels isolated & unable to trust others in dealing with the animals. These folks fear that no one else will care for their charges like they will, and they cling to that notion, even long after they're overwhelmed and the situation isn't helping the cats, is burying the caretaker, and is infuriating the neighbors.

I encounter people who, when I tell them that spay/neuter & vaccinations are free, refuse to believe me or trust me with "their" 200 cats! Very sad. They are not intentionally cruel. They just don't trust anyone else.

These people are, as the old song says, more to be pitied than censured. They *do* need monitoring and assistance in not repeating the offense. When the City sweeps in and destroys all their cats, however, then these poor peoples' paranoia seems justified to them, and they will absolutely reoffend the moment they're unsupervised. We have some luck helping them keep their numbers manageable, when we show up to help them with their chores, to drop off bags of donated food, etc., and to prove to them that we are getting their cats placed in good homes, so it isn't all their responsibility (in their own minds) anymore.

I can smell it from here and through my screen

The core, yet again (the other core problem being what really fuels the Dodger/sports thug culture), is that people need to spay and neuter their cats. Many just think that cats will survive on their own, those creatures struggle. Have a heart.

And this man, although what he was doing was ridiculous and extremely idiotic, probably wanted to help the cats but went way over his head and became an abuser himself. It is straight up animal abuse.

But society, especially in low-income communities of all kinds of nationalities need to be educated but they won't fix their cats, they don't make the effort time, etc.

A solution? Maybe going around neighborhoods, like animal volunteers, you know the kind that help colonies, etc., maybe go around and offer services or something. Or just public announcements on Univision, its part of being in this country, to be responsible for things around you.

maybe he sells them to other "cultures" that enjoy eating cats... yes it's true! some "cultures" eat cats and dogs.

What he was doing may of seemed wrong, but he did it with all the right intentions. He loved the animals, putting them in freezers wasn't cruelty he just couldn't let go of them. Lots of people do it but he was one of the only ones that got caught. He never abused the cats that he had or hurt them in any intentional way. People like this need help not jail time.

Terrible! A sicko no doubt. Why are people so concerned with the welfare of their pets but ignore the suffering of millions of innocent animals that are mercilessly slaughtered daily? Why the distinction? If slaughterhouses had glass walls there would be a HUGE outcry!


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