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80 cats seized at San Diego home in possible animal cruelty case

November 16, 2011 |  5:18 pm

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Eighty cats, many malnourished and sickly, have been seized at a home in San Diego's Mira Mesa neighborhood as evidence in a possible animal cruelty case against the home's owner, officials said Wednesday.

Armed with a search warrant, investigators seized the cats Monday at a home where they had made previous visits to warn the owner, a 57-year-old woman, to take better care of the animals.

"She would do better for a while and then backslide," said Dan DeSousa, a lieutenant with the county Department of Animal Services. "This lady obviously cares for cats but she's gotten in over her head."

Four of the cats had to be euthanized. The others were taken to animal shelters in San Diego and Carlsbad, where they are under the care of veterinarians, DeSousa said.

The cats will remain in the shelters while investigators prepare a report for the city attorney or district attorney suggesting possible charges. The department also will ask a judge to allow them to offer the cats for adoption.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: One of the 80 cats seized at a home in San Diego's Mira Mesa neighborhood.

Credit: San Diego County Department of Animal Services

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