Manistique woman charged with felony animal cruelty after 65 cats found in home

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MANISTIQUE, Michigan (WLUC) – A Manistique woman was charged with animal cruelty after more than 65 cats were found in her home.

According to the Manistique Public Safety Department (MPSD), 67-year-old Kathleen Ann Hurkmans was arrested from 112 South Maple Street in Manistique on Wednesday September 1st.

Hurkmans was charged in the 93rd District Court on September 2 for renunciation / cruelty to 24 or more animals (failed to properly care for 25 or more animals or negligently allowed 25 or more animals to be neglected, torture or pain).

The charges can be punished with up to 7 years in prison, a fine of $ 10,000, at least 5 years probation, up to 500 hours of community service, or a combination of these penalties.

The Hurkmans loan was set at $ 5,000, with personal appreciation allowed. A probable cause hearing was scheduled for September 8th at 9:00 am, with a preliminary hearing on September 20th at 10:00 am. Not owning or controlling animals and undergoing psychological evaluation.

Public security officials opened an investigation into Hurkmans on August 19 after a report of animal cruelty was reported.

After receiving search warrants, officials found that there were large numbers of cats in the house and living in filthy conditions that were likely to cause disease.

MPSD investigator Regan Twardokus started catching the cats in the house. These cats and kittens were given to the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter in Manistique for care and assessment.

Catching of the cats has continued for the past two weeks and to date 65 live cats and kittens have been found. In addition, officers found at least 15 dead cats rotting in and around the house. Public safety reports suggest that there are other cats in the house and efforts are being made to keep them safe.

The situation is still being investigated and no further details have been or are currently being released.

Michigan State Police, Sault Tribal Police, Eva Burrell Animal Shelter, Thompson Veterinary Clinic, and LMAS District Health Department supported the investigation.

Read more about the care Eva Burrell Animal Shelter offers cats in our story last week.

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