Nearly 50 Cats Rescued from Hoarder’s Home in Stratford

STANHOPE, Iowa – It was one of the most “unusual” cases of hoarding, according to rescuers, at a home in Stratford, just eight miles from Katherine Flockhart’s business in Stanhope.

Flockhart and other rescuers said when you approached the home, nothing on the outside seemed off. But upon opening the door, you could immediately smell the ammonia – and hear the sound of cats meowing. With 49 cats hoarded in a home, Flockhart said it’s impossible to not hear them.

“When I went to the house, I didn’t expect the need to be as urgent as it was,” she said.

Flockhart owns Flocky’s Tap in Stanhope. An avid animal-lover and rescuer, Flockhart said her bar often runs fundraisers for local animal charities. When she heard of a hoarder in Stratford, she called a veterinarian and they went to take a look for themselves. With the help of the City of Stratford, they were able to rescue 49 cats from an elderly woman’s home.

“She took very good care of them, she loved every single one,” she said. “I don’t feel like she was just taking and taking and taking. She was trying to help these animals, which, you know, thankfully so. But there comes a point where help is actually hurting them.”

According to the veterinarian, Dr. Lisa Hindle – who has dealt with animal hoarders before – the elderly woman in Stratford wasn’t a stereotypical hoarder; she wasn’t taking in cats from the streets or off of Craigslist ads. Rather, the cats she already owned were not spayed or neutered, and continued to reproduce until the number was out of her control. The elderly woman is not being identified as the city is not charging her with anything and she has been cooperative in resolving the problem. The rescuers said they don’t want to expose her to public shame.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Hindle said. “A lot of these cats are extremely friendly, and even the most timid of them, are re-habitable.”

Flockhart said the cats were rescued late last week and taken to a vacant building she owns connected to Flocky’s Tap. With the help of volunteers, they spayed and neutered the cats over the weekend. They also micro-chipped them, checked for routine feline diseases and cleaned the animals.

Now, Flockart said they just need more help: the cost of food and litter for the cats, as well as the energy bill for air conditioning the vacant space, is solely falling on Flockhart and Dr. Hindle. They are working with the hoarder and the City of Stratford to help offset the cost, they still need volunteers to donate supplies. Additionally, the cats need loving homes.

“We really aren’t looking for any kind of cash donations,” she said. “We just need the supplies – the cat food and cat litter are the two biggest things that we need.”

Flockhart said she hopes they can find homes for the cats as soon as possible. She hopes this shows the City of Stratford that there is a need for funding for animal control; as of now, the city has no funding for such a program, which Flockhart said is why it was left up to concerned citizens like herself to intervene and help.

” If there was animal control, there would be a number to call, there would be people willing to help out because they do have someone knowledgeable of what to do in this situation,” she said.

If you are interested in donating supplies, money, or time to their cause, or details on specific cats for adoption, Flockhart said to email her at kattilac1@yahoo.com. To file paperwork for adopting a rescue cat, call the Jewell Animal Hospital.

85 comments

  • Katt Flockhart

    I am not sure how selling food pop and liquor is more dangerous than meth and heroin? And even if that was the case, anyone in any occupation can care about animals.

  • Joe S.

    “She took very good care of them, she loved every single one,” she said. “I don’t feel like she was just taking and taking and taking. She was trying to help these animals, which, you know, thankfully so. But there comes a point where help is actually hurting them.” – Sounds like you need to listen to your own advice. Taking them from a loving home where they were well cared-for and locking them in cages with limited resources for food and litter doesn’t sound much like helping.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Joe, while I understand the thinking there, none of the cats were fixed. So there were 20+ males spraying everywhere, and females giving birth. The ammonia smell is so strong you need masks to breathe in there, and still for a short period of time. And as my quote says, she did love them, and helping them was hurting them, that is very true. She couldn’t handle the quantity anymore, as she is an elderly woman. Her house was simply over run with cats.The owner is very agreeable, and thankful we have stepped in to help, as she couldn’t do it on her own. They are very well cared for now, and are also very happy. This safe house is temporary, while they await their rescue and forever homes, where they can live free without 49 others fighting for food or mates.

    • Laura

      Not a big fan of the rescuer here, but I have to congratulate you Joe, on how you twisted the rescue efforts into something evil. Yes, the cats are probably in cages, for protection since they have been relocated and need to be confined for their own protection. Limited resources? It’s true, that Ms. Flockhart should not rescue, A) because she isn’t licensed and B) anything more than she can care for. HOWEVER, the cats were not OK where they were either. 50 cats in any one home is a disaster waiting to happen. Eventually, the number of cats can outnumber the caretaker. I’d say that started to happen in this case. She relinquished them on her own accord, HOWEVER, I think her name should be made public. No other organization should adopt to this woman.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Isn’t there a law in Iowa restricting the number of animals an animal foster home may have at one time? If the cats were well cared for and most of them friendly, how well does it bode for them to be now be locked into cages with minimal contact with fellow felines or humans?
    Does anyone find this just a bit concerning,”…why it was left up to concerned citizens like herself to intervene and help.”?
    Would this open the door to some type of coercion to relinquish one’s pets? Did this woman ask for help? Is it a bit brash for someone outside of an official capacity to decide it is their duty to confront someone and convince them to give up their pets because the confronters think one may have too many or are not taking care of them the way they THINK the pets should be?

  • Katt Flockhart

    Betsy, it doesn’t surprise me you have a problem with this. As a breeder you see no harm in this quantity of animals reproducing. The animals are not in a ‘ foster home’ but an adequate large building, with plenty of space for each cat/kennel, supply room, medical supplies, surgery room, bathroom, running water, electricity, heat and air. They hurt for nothing. They are cleaned every morning and afternoon, and also have volunteers along with myself giving them lots of attention. Many of them are doubled up, so they do have buddies. Perhaps you would like to donate a few more large crates so we can double up the rest? Or offer a donation to assist in placing them into rescues? Yes the woman asked for help, and if you read my reply to Joe, she is very thankful and appreciate and cooperative. There was no ‘ convincing’ the owner to ‘ give up her pets’ but an owner seeking help to a problem she couldn’t fix on her own. The city is involved, as are licensed rescues and vets. Perhaps you should ask more questions regarding the actual situation instead of jumping to conclusions that the wicked workers of animal rescue came in and ‘overtook’ this womans home and pets.

    • Laura

      Ms. Flockhart. May I ask how you can have a building full of cats, ask for donations of supplies and speak of adoptions without a license and call that legal?

      • Katt Flockhart

        Laura you do not need a license to voluntarily ‘ donate’ a building as a temp safe house. Since there was no city building available this was offered.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Ms. Flockhart , as for asking questions (?) vs. conclusions (.), please note ?- 6 .-0 Six questions to no conclusions.
    So if this is not considered a foster situation, sorry, wrong semantics about foster “home”, then what is this called specifically as it has the same elements as fostering? Is not fostering the taking care of animals in another location(s) other than the physical location of a specific rescue/shelter/humane society under which animals would be considered owned and are responsible for the sale thereof? Does it necessarily necessarily have to be a home? Could it then be said that since the cats are not in a home setting but instead in a vacant large building, would warehousing be one way to describe how the cats are currently being kept? Just how is this type of housing any different from a cattery or dog kennel?

    Could there be a misunderstanding as to the tenor of the questions on the part of some readers?

  • Katt Flockhart

    Ms. Fickel: This was an emergency situation where the cats needed urgent placement. The city of Stratford has no such building, shelter, warehouse, or home available. This is a volunteer building that is a temporary ‘ hold’ for these cats, in order to get them vetted and ensure they are healthy enough to be adopted out. Which thankfully, thanks to APE and an amazing vet, they are now fully vetted and ready to go home. They are now waiting for IA rescues to get them into their system. A foster home is similar besides the obvious quantity.And is usually in need for an animal with a health/medical problem. The urgency of these cats was not due to health concerns, but the removal and clean out of the home per the city. If you have an issue with how these cats are being sheltered and cared for right now, you can certainly bring that up to the city of Stratford. You are known to come to each story like this and spin it in a way to make the situation turn around to be about something completely different. The cats are not in a cold vacant warehouse. You can sure come take a look for yourself and drop off some donations for their care while your at it. You can see in the above video, which is what this entire thread is about, how these animals are taken care of and housed for the moment. I know you are unfamiliar with the ADOPTION of animals, as you are used to breeding and selling them more like an item or show piece. But these specific animals are not for sale, nor are they owned by anyone in particular right now. This was/is a tragic situation where these cats were loved as personal pets, and they deserve to be thought of as such, and not have their story and chance of a future in another home ruined by turning the story elsewhere. Perhaps you can contact WHO and have them do another story on the subject you wish to turn this one into? There it would be more appropriate for this banter.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Hmm, would someone be so kind to point out that I said the cats were in a cold, vacant warehouse? Please reread what I posted.

    As for the term “adoption”, is not money going to be exchanged in return a cat(s)? Regardless of semantics to make it sound other wise, it IS considered a SALE. Putting semantics aside, would not the act be determined to be a sale? What is it specifically that would exempt it from being a sale? So what specifically is the difference if I, as breeder, sell someone a pet. They give me money, I give them their choice of pet. How is that different from shelters/rescues/ humane societies also having someone give them money and in turn, the s/r/hs gives them their pet of choice? Very same principal and transaction type.. Only difference is in whom is doing it and the procurement method of saleable goods, in this case animals.

    Did not the woman have to sign her property over to someone? If no one owns these cats at this time as you stated, then whom has the legal right to be making decisions about them, to accept monies and goods for their care? Whom is legally able to make decisions in regards to these cats? Whom will be selling the cats and receiving the monies?

    So, if the cats are not for sale, ” these specific animals are not for sale…” what will be happen to them? What about the statement the cats “need loving homes”. So does that mean they really will be for sale at some point in time?

    Is there a contradiction in some of these statements?

    And what specifically have I turned around to make the story “something completely different”? Just how does asking some questions ” chance of a future in another home ruined by turning the story elsewhere”?

    According to your statement, what subject am I wishing to turn this into? I look forward to specific answers to these specific questions from you, not the city as it appears you may be the one in charge of things?

    Thank you.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Betsy….the small donation fee of $20 for these cats is to recover the over $6000 it has cost to fully rescue, vet and house these animals. It is NOT a ‘sale price’ . The money is not FOR PROFIT. Possibly hard for a breeder to conceive the ‘cost’ of this animal is minimal to cover expenses incurred, instead of to raise anyones bank account. She has signed surrender forms allowing myself and the vet in charge to vet them and get them into rescue, and therefore adopted in other homes. Her property IS NOT SEIZED nor will it be.

      • Betsy Fickel

        Katt, thank you for some badly needed clarification. According to one of your comments that noone owned the cats was confusing as it did raise questions. You have now said that the former owner did sign papers relinquishing ownership. That’s just one of the pieces of information that was missing. Perhaps it was the manner in which this story was presented that some pertinent information was left out which triggered questions. There are questions that still remain and perhaps at some point you may be able to address them. It appears that people are wanting an assurance that everything is being done legally and seeking understanding as to specifically how that is being done.
        Doing some simple math, your figures indicate that at this point the cost per cat has been $300 each. Correct?
        Thanks.

  • concerned

    Ah Betsy…big difference between a sale and an adoption. At our shelter we carefully screen each applicant and they do not ‘pick the animal of their choice’ as you say. But an animal is chosen based on careful consideration as to which pet best fits their lifestyle. Just because you have money does in no way mean you will leave with a new pet. Whereas a sale like you would do involves an exchange of money and they get whatever they want and out the door they go. Any fee exchanged by a shelter is to help defray the cost of vetting. Here they are fully vetted, spayed/neutered, tested, vaccinated, micro-chipped, treated for parasites, any medical condition treated and the fee doesn’t begin to cover 1/2 the bill we incur. Can you say the same? And of course someone is in charge of these cats and where they go. They have to be under a licensed rescue/shelter per Iowa law. Just because you don’t know who it is doesn’t change that.

    • Phyl Wessling

      Exactly that is the difference between caring for the animals verses lusting after the money. The greedy ones do not care who they step on to make that dollar and they have no shame.

    • Phyl Wessling

      Have to say… how many dog/cat breeders actually pay sales tax on their sales? Often those dog/cat breeders websites state they accept cash payments. Just how much sales tax is not being paid on those cash sales?

  • Betsy Fickel

    Concerned (why are you afraid to use your real name?) you do NOT know for a fact how breeders sell do you? Your qualifications to make that statement is based upon specifically what? And what proof do you have that someone hands me the money and they go out the door with whatever they want? Do you know that for a fact? Please give specific verifiable instances, names, dates, etc.

    Please note, as for the cat ownership I was addressing, Ms. Flockhart’s own words were used.

    I did specifically ask Ms. Flockhart to provide answers to the questions I asked. Is she instead allowing someone to answer in her stead and use the divert distract tactic by leveling false accusations against the questioner. Thereby taking the focus off the fact that the party that was addressed with questions for clarification has not answered (maybe she will a bit later as she is probably at work at her bar).

    I await Ms. Flockhart’s answers. Possibly we will give specific answers to specific questions without wandering off in a different direction.

    But, Concerned, thank you
    any way for your interesting input.

    • Adam

      Hi Betsy,
      As a breeder, what type of animals do you breed? How do you identify the animals you sell? What happens to the sale of the animal if it doesn’t work out? Do you take them back? Are the buyers under contract with you? How much do you sell your animals for? Are they fully vetted? Are they chipped/tattooed or in some other way retractable back to your business? What criteria do you have prior to your sell to a potential buyer?

      • Phyl Wessling

        Adam….great straight forward questions for Betsy Fickel who demands specific answers from others to her questions! Double standards always. If we were betting people, we would bet that Ms Fickle will not have the courage to respond to your questions without putting a mindless spin as she is so typically fond of.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Betsy NO ONE is answering FOR ME. I am very capable of answering questions myself. I am quite busy right now, as I am caring for these cats and also running my business. So sorry I don’t jump on whenever you post or comment, I will get to it when I can. You are not that important for me to rush rush. But thank you for assuming I have sent minions in to save the day and defend me. Oh wait, I didn’t.

  • Laura

    There are several problems with this entire situation.
    First, the fact that 50 cats were found in this woman’s home. This woman had to have friends or family somewhere that knew about this. So for everyone who did “nothing”, cough up the bucks to for the vet bills. And since the woman willingly surrendered them, it’s hardly a “hoarder” case. It’s troubling that she has that many cats and friends/relatives/neighbors did nothing about it.
    Second, the fact that a non-licensed individual is posing as a rescuer, housing animals in a non-inspected facility and is talking about ‘adopting’ them, which is also illegal by the non-licensed individual is disturbing at best. If in fact, the rescuer is working through an animal shelter, she would be a foster, with a limit of 4 animals and subject to inspection. The “shelter” she would be fostering for, would have to submit her name as a foster. I doubt either has happened and the shelter she is using is also operating illegally by not registering her as a foster. To “feature” the garbage animal lovers of our society is only glorifying illegal activity and placing animals in harm’s way.
    Thirdly, WHO reporters need to stop sensationalizing this type of illegal activity by these so-called “rescuers” in Iowa and learn the animal welfare laws or at least check their sources through IDALS . Ms. Flockhart is NOT a licensed rescue, animal shelter, dealer, broker, or any other type of animal welfare agent in the state of Iowa. While she blatantly poses as one, her ongoing “business of exchanging animals” is illegal without being licensed by the state.
    In the meantime, I question that the 50 cats lives will be spared in the long run. Ms. Flockhart doesn’t have any records or adoption statistics to put my mind at ease that she will do right by the cats long term.
    Placing Ms. Flockhart in the spotlight as a rescuer is the same as featuring a pedophile as an educator in our school systems….Ridiculous, disturbing and irresponsible! Get the facts, WHO and stop featuring those who break the law and start featuring those who abide by it!

    • Katt Flockhart

      Laura, since you obviously don’t know who this ‘owner’ is/was, you don’t know the specifics. She is a single older woman, no husband, no kids. No one was ever at her house, inside, so no one knew the quantity of cats she did have. A neighbor did witness something, and spoke to the city, and since that day, this process started. To use the word ‘ rescue’ for these cats, does not make it illegal for me to say. I have not ONCE said I RUN an animal rescue, as I in fact do not. There are TWO licensed rescues who are running the adoption applications, which IS legal. The city in which the cats came from was asked for a building and had none to offer. So as a VOLUNTEER I offered my building. LEGAL. The cats were fully vetted by a licensed vet and vet tech, LEGAL. The adoption process is going thru each rescue with their own applications full with medical records, LEGAL. If you have an issue with this, perhaps you should be asking all of these questions with IDALS, instead of on WHO site? Just to get all the correct information on what is and is not legal here. Again, I am NOT ‘posing’ as a rescue or adopting animals out on my own. Not one single cat has gone anywhere, but the sick or pregnant ones to licensed rescues. I am not processing the adoption applications, I am not ‘ selling’ or giving away, or taking funds for any exchange of an animal. PERIOD. Perhaps you should ASK me my animal work history so you do know what I have done in the past, with adoption rates and experience, instead of say you know nothing about me. And besides the adoption rates and history of myself, since again, I AM NOT THE ONE ADOPTING OUT, you should be wanting the adoption rate/history of the two rescues WHO ARE ADOPTING OUT.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Laura, I have a tendency to agree with your observations. I, too, would not classify this woman as a hoarder. The cats were well cared for and appeared to be very, very friendly, indicating a lot of human interaction. I did not see it mentioned if she signed any forms to relinquish her ownership to either the city, Deppe, or Flockhart.

    It appears that donations are accepted and dispersed through Deppe’s rescue yet, according to Flockhart’s own words, NOONE currently owns the cats (see above story). Certainly an interesting scenario. Maybe by this time they have obtained the necessary paperwork to clarify ownership since that has now been questioned?
    As for Ms. Flockhart being legal in her activities, it certainly appears to be a well founded question. There is a possibility she may be listed under Ms. Deppe’s rescue as a foster, but she does exceed the numbers limit and it makes no difference if it’s in home or a vacant building, the cats are still housed and cared for at a property owned by Flockhart.
    A while back, a question in similar vein was brought about concerning the legality of her placing animals. If I remember correctly, her answer was along the lines of she didn’t need licensing as she was merely coordinating buyer and seller, but not actively involved in the exchange of monies itself.
    As for WHO, one must remember, IMO, that it strongly appears to be a sell out to the animal zealot’s as they seem to have very slanted reporting and in some cases, I personally feel outright lies. Example. The Julie’s Jewell’s case where their reporter alleges that he was nearly run over with a golf cart. Watch that clip. At NO time did he appear to even have the slightest fear of that being done.
    Also, note “Adam’s” line of questioning. Once again the distract, deflect tactic being employed to take the focus off all the unanswered questions in regards to this story. This crafty technique is usually implemented to distract people from the fact that those questions are either not answered of have some type of skirting the issue reply. It is purposed to take the focus off them and launch an attack on the questioner in the hopes of shutting them up. If that doesn’t work, then a personal attack is launched.
    The focus should remain on the story itself and the factors involved.

    • Laura

      Ms. Fickel. I beg to differ. While we agree on the definition of “hoarder”, we don’t agree on “well cared for”. They were not spayed/neutered, and there were too many of them. Obviously you are not a cat breeder and don’t have a full understanding of the amount of feces and urine that many cats can accumulate. I don’t remember reading this, but I doubt there were enough litter boxes, that TOM cat spraying was everywhere, and the cats did not receive enough love and attention. My definition of “well cared for” is obviously quite different from yours.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Need to make corrections. Flockhart is the ACCEPTING MONIES and DONATIONS and the paper work for the sales of the cats is through Deppe, now known a Hindle. My apologies as forgot about Ms. Hindle’s name change.
    But wait, did not Flockhart say, “..but these specific animals are not for sale….” ? Yet, in the above story it states “while they await their rescue and forever homes” and “paperwork for adopting a rescue cat”. Does that not indicate the cats really are for sale?? Are some misstatements or misunderstandings somewhere?

    • Laura

      Ms. Fickel. “Sale” and “Adoption” may be one in the same to some, but not to me. Those who “adopt” animals SHOULD be in the “rescue” business and have the following:
      A state license as a dealer, Animal Shelter, broker or some other animal welfare license
      A contract between organization and adopter with specific details on care, which includes all vetting prior to the adoption (i.e. spay/neuter, vaccinations, etc.)
      A RETURN policy whereas the adopting party is responsible for the animal should the adoption not work out
      As far as home visits, and other adoption criteria, that varies from rescue to rescue..

      I don’t know very many “breeders” that will take back the animals that they sale. Please know I’m not a fan of breeders in Iowa. I’ve have the extreme pleasure to meet quite a few, and haven’t found one yet, that knows what they are doing or is in it for the betterment of the breed over profit.

      My problem with Ms. Flockhart is that she appears to be rescuing on her own hiding behind Ms. Deppe or other rescues licenses, both of which are illegal and wrong. Skirting the law doesn’t make one very ethical in my opinion.

      • Katt Flockhart

        Laura as per your “My problem with Ms. Flockhart is that she appears to be rescuing on her own hiding behind Ms. Deppe or other rescues licenses, both of which are illegal and wrong. Skirting the law doesn’t make one very ethical in my opinion.” again I will state, I am NOT adopting out any animals, under false pretenses or otherwise. No animals have left his buiding unless it has been to a LICENSED RESCUE. I was asked to help as a volunteer, and I have. Period point blank. I am not hiding behind any rescue license, nor have I ever. Neither of those rescues have the room to house these cats at the moment, so they are being housed in this building with not only city approval, owner approval, both rescue approval, IDALS approval, and my own of course. No laws are being broken. There is no skirting the law of any kind here, and if you feel that way Im sorry for you. I would do this all again tomorrow in order to help this woman and her cats as well.

    • Adam

      Ms. Flockhart’s “rescue” efforts are questionable at best here. It does appear she is operating without a license. If you can produce the information, specifically from her own words, then a report to IDALS would be in order. You can find their complaint form on their website. Taking in animals is not against the law. Exchanging 50 animals is “doing business as” and that requires a license. If she is taking the money and using Dr. Deppe (Hindle’s) license then Dr. Deppe is also placing her license in jeopardy with IDALS I do believe. You can’t have “agents” of your organization. Perhaps Ms. Flockhart sits on Dr. Deppe’s board or something. I agree that Ms. Flockhart’s “rescue efforts” are shady. But I don’t agree that the cats were better off with their owner.

      • Katt Flockhart

        Adam if you will simply read the rest of the comments, you will see all of the needed explanations in them. IDALS is fully aware of this situation, and knows exactly what is going on in this effort to help these cats. But you can certainly give them a call and report it again if that would make you feel more at ease. There is no exchange of money between myself, to anyone, for an animal. neither of the rescues involved are in jeapordy of losing their licenses, as again, IDALS is aware of this. I am a volunteer for both facilities. Its hard for someone like you, who was and is not in any way shape or form involved in this ‘ rescue’ ( ill use quotes for several of you naysayers to save the time of THAT conversation) to understand what has gone on, what was involved, who was involved, and what authorities, city and state have been notified.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Betsy in your line of business, animals are items to be sold for profit. In the animal rescue world, which yes I am a part of, even tho I do not work at one, run one, own one, or whatever you want to say this time, animals are ADOPTED. There IS a difference as the adoption of these animals is not purely out of greed or for profit. Applications will be filled out, and processed by each rescue, not me, to ensure this animal goes to a good home. If the animal should not work out, it is to be returned to said rescue. I have accepted cat food, litter, blankets, crates, cleaning supplies, and so on for the daily needs of these cats. I have accepted a check from my own mother in order to put towards the utilitiy bill of the building the cats are in now. There has been a few other cash donations, which is sent by people of their own free will, not asking for a tax receipt, nor where the money will be spent. Should they choose to show up and see, I can show them its in an envelope in the safe. I am not garenteed the city nor the owner will be paying the vetting on these cats. And should they not, the money will go towards that. I am not HIDING behind or USING Dr Hindles license or permit for anything. She is a great vet and rescue who has chosen to step up and help rehome these cats in this time of need. As goes for Almost Home in Fort Dodge. If you want to keep saying Im hiding behind a rescue, use BOTH and don’t pinpoint ONE. The only misunderstanding here is from you Betsy, who cant seem to contemplate a woman over her head with animals, asking for help, and receiving it from good Samaritans who CARE and do not need to do it for any profit whatsoever.

      • Phyl Wessling

        Katt! Way to go! Unfortunately there are a few people out there that can not comprehend doing a kind caring act without seeking some personal reward for themselves. We feel you have made our lives better by knowing you.

      • Betsy Fickel

        Ms. Flockhart, re: your reply to Laura at 6:51 p.m., Sept. 2. Thank you for the clarification on all counts. Perhaps if some of this info would have been provided from the get go, this discussion probably would not have taken place. Those of us posting did not have that information available for whatever reason and comments were based soley on the information provided in the story.
        Thank you again for taking time to provide it.

  • Nancy Glick

    I’m just wondering if, now that the cats have been spayed and neutered and her house cleaned, will this lady be able to get a few of them back? It just seems that it would be the right thing to do if she would like to be able to have at least a couple. The article says she loved and cared for them well and it was just a case of them being intact and getting beyond her control in numbers. Elderly people seem to do much better when they have pets for company and it sounds like this lady has been very cooperative. It’s a shame that friends, family or neighbors didn’t step up to help her out sooner before things got to this point.

    • Phyl Wessling

      Well then Nancy Glick just how much of a monetary donation are you prepared to give to help this elderly woman and the plight of these cats? How commendable that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is. Perhaps you can encourage Ms Bettsy Fickle to do the same?

    • Laura

      Ms. Glick, WHY would anyone want to give her some animals back? I’d hate to deny anyone the opportunity to have a companion, but this woman (and her friends, neighbors and family) are simply too ignorant to own a pet. To allow a situation to become this out of control is absolutely ridiculous as well as irresponsible. I would hope that people with integrity would place the ANIMALS first and realize that perhaps fish would be a suitable companion. Sadly, her friends, family and/or neighbors allowed this situation which IMO, denies her the love of a companion to enrich her life. NO animal should be subject to this amount of carelessness.

      • Nancy Glick

        WHY would anyone want to come to someone like you if they find themselves in a bad situation? You seem to feel yourself to be judge and jury. I agree that it would have been better if she had sought help sooner, but to say that her ignorance should deny her of ever having another pet is selfish and self-righteous. People make mistakes and most learn from them. If she were given the opportunity to have one or two who are spayed and neutered now and can’t reproduce, who is it going to hurt who, and how will it hurt them? Katt Flockhart said the cats were well cared for and fed. Are you saying that now that they’ve been neutered she would no longer feed and care for them if she got a couple back? Do you seriously think she can’t take care of 2 altered cats???

        Your statement is very telling about you. “I would hope that people with integrity would place the ANIMALS first and realize that perhaps fish would be a suitable companion”. Are you sure she could handle fish? They reproduce too you know. I firmly believe animals should be cared for and about and humanely treated, but I do not believe they should be elevated above humans. Katt may not be doing this as she should with being licensed, but she is a human being who stepped up to help someone who asked for help without denigrating her the way you have. You appear to be the only person commenting who is perfect in every way. You have managed to demean Katt Flockhart, this woman who asked for help, breeders and other rescues who aren’t YOU. Congratulations on your achievement of perfection.

      • Phyl Wessling

        Another options for the elderly lady who loves and cares for cats would be to encourage her to volunteer at an area shelter/rescue.

      • Nancy Glick

        That could be a viable option Phyllis, but so could having only 48 cats to find homes for instead of 50. You and I agree on very little but at least you didn’t say she was too ignorant to ever have contact with animals. The fact that she came and asked for help with the cats shows that she was being educated about how quickly cats can reach that number. Maybe volunteering at a shelter would help her to keep learning. I just don’t agree with what Laura said. The woman cared about the cats or she wouldn’t have reached out for help to start with. I don’t think publicly shaming someone because they made a mistake is constructive. It will only make someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation afraid to reach out for help. It hurts people and animals both.

      • Katt Flockhart

        Laura “Ms. Glick, WHY would anyone want to give her some animals back? I’d hate to deny anyone the opportunity to have a companion, but this woman (and her friends, neighbors and family) are simply too ignorant to own a pet. To allow a situation to become this out of control is absolutely ridiculous as well as irresponsible. I would hope that people with integrity would place the ANIMALS first and realize that perhaps fish would be a suitable companion. Sadly, her friends, family and/or neighbors allowed this situation which IMO, denies her the love of a companion to enrich her life. NO animal should be subject to this amount of carelessness.”

        This is very sad and unfair of you to make such judgment on a woman you do not know. You don’t know her or this situation in its entirety. To call out not only her, but her friends, family and neighbors is just asinine. Firstly Ill inform you, she has NO family near her. We have found out she has ONE brother, who lives 1000 miles away.. He is now informed of the issue and will be assisting her. She has no children, grandchildren, or close friends who come to her home. While the outside did have an odor, it was not as raunchy to say you could smell it from the neighbors house. The reason this issue came to be, is that a neighbor DID indeed go to the womans house one day, notice the smell ( from the door step) and she immidiatley took action with the city. The owner has fully admitted she was very wrong, and this is 100% her fault, and she does realize she was actually harming the animals by having this quantity un-altered. She has much guilt over this, as she does love these cats. She fully admits she was in over her head, by her own poor judgement on vetting to cease breeding. Cats reproduce very quickly and often, and her count went from 3 to 50 in a short period of time. As Dr Hindle stated on this story, its a very unusual case of hoarding. This woman cleaned her house every day. Her stove was spotless white, her counters clean and uncluttered. Shoes in a row neatly. While she still needs professional help to realize her lack of knowledge or care on the altering of these animals, she is not 100% ‘ gone’ and need to be admitted or denied another companion pet the rest of her life. She is doing all that is asked of her, or that she is told to do. Shes paying the price enough as it is. There doesn’t need to be people like you denying her a normal life, with a pet, as that is what her goal is and what I am in part trying to help her accomplish.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Nancy if this woman complies with city officials on properly cleaning her house, making it a safe environment for not only her, but her pet, she does have one cat shed like back. Its in her spay contract IF she does do this, this certain cat shall be returned to her at full vetting cost to her.

  • Nancy Glick

    None Phyllis. Katt Flockhart stated in the article that they need cat food and litter, not cash. I don’t live in the area but I do drop off food at my local shelter here. There are also pet food pantries who donate or sell food and litter cheaply to rescues. I’m not really sure why you always expect answers to your own questions while evading answering any asked of you. Whether Betsy decides to contribute is completely up to her, but I wouldn’t blame her if she chose not to if her questions aren’t answered. Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t sell puppies to anyone who evaded answering questions the way many of you do and I wouldn’t expect people to buy my pups if I evaded answering their questions. My only question was whether the woman would be allowed to get back one or two cats for companionship if she wanted them and even that question went unanswered.

    I will answer one of the questions about breeders that was asked. If you are licensed with or registered with the state of Iowa as a breeder, you do have to have a sales tax license and a copy of it has to be on file with IDALS. If you think the state will allow tax licensees to NOT pay sales tax, you are sadly mistaken. You do have to keep paper work current and if it doesn’t match what you paid in sales tax, the fines and penalties are stiff.

    The only questions I saw asked in here were mostly pertaining to whether these cats were being housed and rehomed legally. Breeders are licensed and expected to follow regulations and everything is paid for by the breeders. No donations or grants. I know you, Phyllis Wessling, would like people to believe that breeders are greedy and rich but the profit on pets sales is not that large once the overhead comes out of it. It takes a really large kennel to make a big profit and most of us don’t have large kennels. I raise mini Dachshunds. I have no idea what other breeders have because it really isn’t my business to know.

    Now maybe you guys can be up front about answering the questions asked of you.

    • Phyl Wessling

      Nancy Glick… you just might want to check out the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legistation article Fall 2013 Welfare Swindlers + Tax Cheats + Consumer Fraud + Animal Neglect = Puppy Mills. Granted that article was based on Missouri dog/cat breeders….However since Iowa ranks right after Missouri for puppy mills it does make for an interesting read. We especially found the ” Several state agencies across the country, as well as the IRS, have reported commercial dog breeders have underreported their income on federal and state tax returns. Additionally, many were not paying the state sales tax on puppies sold or were vastly underreporting such sales.” For instance: ” a comparison of the number of adult breeding dogs listed on a federal inspection reports with the number of puppies being sold often reveals a sharp contrast. for example one breeder with over 100 adult breeding dogs reported state sales of less than 100 puppies a year. When factoring the average litter size and average number of litters per year along with the percentage of female dogs, a breeding facility of this size should be producing at least 500 puppies per year. Such underreporting of puppy sales can be used to falsify federal and state income tax returns, applications for disablity and welfare benefits, payments of state sales tax and state licensing fees which are based on the number of puppies sold.”

      • Nancy Glick

        That one shouldn’t be that hard to fix. Inspectors have to do a head count of dogs and pups on hand. I believe larger USDA kennels are inspected twice a year instead of once. The government is not above averaging things in their own favor and, if they are doing their jobs, those who do under report will eventually pay the price. The breeders who sell to brokers instead of the public are selling wholesale and sales tax doesn’t apply to them, at least not in Iowa. It may be different state to state. Sales tax doesn’t apply to pups shipped out of state in Iowa either, so breeders who sell to both the public and wholesale and any who are shipped out of state are going to show a difference between what is paid in sales taxes and what is paid in federal and state income tax. If they are reporting sales tax correctly, the overall sales amount on all of your taxes will be the same. The portion exempted from sales tax (wholesale and shipped) is supposed to be reported along with the ones sales taxes are collected on quarterly and you pay the amount on those sold to the public.

        Personally I believe shelter and rescue pets should also be charging sales tax since the animals are being sold to the public. I really don’t care whether you call it adoption or sales because either way monetary compensation passes hands in exchange for the animals and that makes it a retail sale. Sale and profit are not synonymous. The government doesn’t care whether you make a profit. They care that you make a sale, that you collect sales tax for it and that you give them their sales tax money.

        Betsy did not call into question the fact that Katt is helping the cats and the lady who asked for help. What she DID call into question was whether she was doing it legally. She asked whether or not she has the proper licensing to be doing it. Doing rescue and selling/adopting out illegally is no different than doing breeding and sales illegally. Both are wrong. The fact that she’s helping the cats and the woman does not change that.

      • Phyl Wessling

        Nany Glick In a perfect world your summary makes perfect sense, except of course you left out human nature “figures don’t lie but liars can figure”. Puppy mills have been in existance since the 1940’s and we are not so naive to believe that we live in a perfect world.

  • Katt Flockhart

    Nancy, two things for you. I answered above that yes this woman has a chance at getting one of her cats back before I saw all of the other comments. I will just add on here, I am not the person who will be ‘qualifying’ her home after its cleaned. I have spoken with a cleaning service who is working on an estimate to clean her home properly, as the last 10 years of ammonia has gotten into her vents, eaten away her doors, rotted her floors, and so on. Its not a job for 80 year old church ladies. So anyways, I am really hoping this house gets cleaned, and she can have her favorite cat back. And yes this cat is now spayed and vetted. She started with wanting 3, and then on her own went down to one. She is an older woman, with no husband, children, grandchildren, and so on, around to help her. She has friends, that she meets at church, or at bingo, or ‘out’ and about. No one in her home, so no one had seen what was going on. I do think her having a cat would be wonderful to her, so she has someone to talk to and take care of. She did love every single cat, but loving and being able to properly clean multiple litter boxes, buy the quantity of litter, food, vetting, etc…got out of hand for her, and shes the first to admit it. But she did love them, and I can tell when each and every one talks and purrs daily. I for one, am on HER SIDE, for getting a companion cat back. And secondly, I again, have not sold, exchanged, or adopted any animals out in my care. Just a reminder of that. These long posts get so repetitive, I don’t know if you read everything or not. I have stated the same things over and over, and will probably do so again. but I just wanted to clarify, that yes, she may get an animal back. .

    • Nancy Glick

      Thanks Katt for clarifying things and caring as much about an owner who got in over her head as for the cats. I’m about 3 hours away but if you can let me know via facebook PM what this lady needs in monetary donations to get her home in order (when she finds out) and to get her cat back, I’ll see if I can get some folks down this way to help out. I’ll be going to my vet to get one of my girls spayed on Friday and if you let me know before then I’ll see if I can put a donation can up there as well and the gas station I go to all the time.

  • Canine Friend

    If Katt Flockhart is just loaning out a building, why is she the only one in the picture, doing all the talking and appearing to make all the decisions? Her calling in the media only shows she snubs her nose at the rules in Iowa for Rescues and Shelters.
    To say you have never adopted out, made decisions or taken charge where animals go that you’ve involved yourself with, is false. You want to be believed, tell the truth.
    To attempt to “skirt” while others follow the rules does make your “rescue” work shady, especially when you are always looking for donations.
    If you are just a “helper” then why are you front and center with all the information? Shouldn’t the licensed Rescues be the ones in the story.
    This scenario also gets repetitive, this woman continues to be involved and appearing to make decisions yet does not need to be licensed or have any oversight like responsible, licensed Rescues and Shelters do.
    Can’t have it both ways, you want the benefits and kudos yet don’t want to follow the rules.
    And it is these people operating illegally who give the Betsy Fickles and Nancy Glicks ammunition.

    • Katt Flockhart

      CANINE FRIEND: I am not JUST loaning a building. I am the one who is there 2-3 times a day caring for the cats needs. Wether it be litter scooped, food and water filled, or simply to give attention to, as they are used to that. If you would like to step up and volunteer every day, you certainly can, and then YOU can share with people why such help is needed. Until then, kindly remember that while cats may bathe themselves without our help, they certainly cannot scoop their own litter or change the garbage bags it is then dumped into. Or perhaps these cats missed the class on how to speak like a human and get the water and electricity turned on? Or the dumpster ordered, paid for and delivered? Or how about opening the canned food and distributing it evenly and washing the plates when said food is eaten? The problem here is that there are not 20 people with nothing to do that can be there to do this every day. I am one of them. I just so happen to live 2 blocks away and have a work schedule I make myself, so I can be there in the morning, then afternoon, then at night before I go home. Id love to have more help so its not just me doing all of this. The owner of these cats also trusts me, and the other 2 women involved. One of which is Dr Hindle, who WAS also on the news. And who has come to check on the cats and also help clean when she can. The other womans name doesn’t need to be said. She used to work at the ARL and also run another shelter in IA. Not every person wants to be on tv, I was/am one of them. But for the lives of these cats, Dr Hindle and I both sucked it up and did what needed done. “To say you have never adopted out, made decisions or taken charge where animals go that you’ve involved yourself with, is false. You want to be believed, tell the truth” Is meaning what? These cats or past animals? As for making decisions, it is not ME making these decisions alone. Its involving the owner, the city, the vet, the rescues, and the community. Again, you DO NOT know the inner details of this so you cant comment intelligently on the matter in full. Another reason I am speaking out more so than others involved, is that I own a bar. Period. Not a rescue, not a vet clinic. I don’t care if you or anyone calls me names, or accuses me of acting illegally, or not involving certain people or whatever the case may be. I can be a voice for these animals, without reprocussions to my license/clinic/shelter, because I don’t have one. I don’t suppose you have any idea how many angry people there are that this womans identity is kept private. Well lets just say a rescue knew her name, yet wouldn’t share it. Wouldn’t be good for them. Since there are many people who wish to never adopt to this woman, never help her, blast her for abuse, neglect, and so on. The rescues involved have not asked for her information, for that very reason. So Ill take the brunt of this all day long. When I make a promise to someone, I keep it. Im here to help these cats, and that is what I am doing. Wether you or anyone else likes it or not. I don’t care about you, I care about these cats.

  • Katt Flockhart

    Betsy….I seemed to have missed one of the many comments here, so Ill address it now..to your “Katt, thank you for some badly needed clarification. According to one of your comments that noone owned the cats was confusing as it did raise questions. You have now said that the former owner did sign papers relinquishing ownership. That’s just one of the pieces of information that was missing. Perhaps it was the manner in which this story was presented that some pertinent information was left out which triggered questions. There are questions that still remain and perhaps at some point you may be able to address them. It appears that people are wanting an assurance that everything is being done legally and seeking understanding as to specifically how that is being done.
    Doing some simple math, your figures indicate that at this point the cost per cat has been $300 each. Correct?
    Thanks.” The spay/neuter clinic which included every cat ( aside from pregnant ones) to be microchipped, vaccinated including rabies/tag, felv/fiv tested, flea treatment, ears cleaned, and obviously surgery is a $2000 bill alone. The $6000 mark includes cleaning and sanitation of building before arrival, cost of volunteer gas miles, dry food, wet food, litter, bleach, sanitizers, paper towels, gloves, dish soap,garbage bags, dumpster, laundry soap, bottled water, litter boxes,worker hours, water, electricity and so on. That is the cost in its entirety for the city to see how much an ‘incident’ like this can incur. Granted volunteer miles and gas will not be reimbursed, as its voluntarily done. Same goes for worker hours, which is mainly myself, and 2-3 volunteers who go in 3 times daily cleaning the litter out, refreshing food and water, and so on. The daily cost of housing these cats for the estimated 30 days is what that cost has come/will come to me, by a daily estimate of items used. Perhaps cities like this with no animal control or authority of any kind will see the kind of damage done not only to the home ( which is another cost not included here, the estimates so far are apprx $10K) but the monetary aspect of clean up and removal and safe placement of the animals. This bill also includes the 4 pregnant cats who have yet to be spayed, vaccinated, tested and so on. And obviously, all of the babies born as well.

  • Phyl Wessling

    Thank you Katt for caring. As my dog trainer/behaviorist Warren has said. ” Mean people suck but awesome people foster” I will change that a bit ” save lives.” A Christmas jar will on its way to you soon.

    • Tara Hansen

      I am relived to see that the Lady who was overwhelmed is not being charged and that the cats are all healthy. I not quite sure why it would cost so much so much to give shots and to spay or castrate the animals. But I am sure the vet is doing the vaccinations at her cost rather than charging for a profit. that is nice of her. as a town of 800 where I live, there is no need to have “animal control”, and since donations are being accepted I would think there is no reason to ask the city for reimbursement since this young lady and vet choose to do this. I am sure a legal rescues will come and pick up the cats to transport to other states.

  • Katt Flockhart

    Tara: Every single town doesn’t need animal control, but every county should have one. Hamilton County does not. We have ONE rescue, and only a handful of vets. There IS a need for it, as there are stray cats ( more so than dogs) that do carry disease and keep reproducing. It cost $1945 to fully vet each animal, which is not just shots and altering. Its flea treatment, testing, microchipping, rabies, the works. And yes it was at cost. the only person getting paid out of that is the vet who did it. She will get paid a small fee per cat who had surgery. The supplies used were indeed at cost. Donations being accepted right now, are mainly cat food and litter. That does nothing to pay the bill for vetting. The other $4000 as I stated above, is the actual cost from day one. Gas mileage, time, hours worked, kennels used, food bought, litter, bleach, gloves, tables, bedding, litterboxes, garbage bags, etc. The FULL bill is to show how much a situation like this can actually cost. The only actual bill that needs paid ( aside from the water/electricity being used which is now paid) is the $1945. Myself and the vet were asked to do this. We did not just find out and say, sure we’ll do it all for free. If I had millions, surely I would. But I don’t. The city brought up funds the first day, as they were told about the costs that were about to start adding up. They did not want to ‘ dispose’ of the cats, but had the option at a vet clinic to euthanize every one of them at $25 per cat. ‘ Im sure legal rescues will come to pick them up’ I sure hope so! This is a temporary housing, and these cats DO need rescue. They need to be out and seen by people to be adopted. NOW. I have many rescue friends, and most are at maximum capacity on cats. So if you know any reputable rescues, please let them know, these cats come fully vetted at no fee to them, and are ready to be adopted out TODAY.

    BETSY: There is no actual fund set up for the owner yet. I did just get the email from the cleaning service for their estimate, which ill be sharing with her today. I highly doubt she can pay the whole thing herself, so will be discussing with her and the city how to move forward with that process. Some people are leary of helping with that, as they A think shell do it again ( which I doubt) and B they think they have the right to know WHO she is, which I will not share. So any help for her would be greatly appreciated so she can get her life back, and Ebony.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Even though there are contradictions as to the paid expenses vs. volunteer, this post will not address those. You, the reader, can read through and decide for yourselves. This will specifically address what may be considered violations of Iowa Code 67.12. It appears Ms. Flockhart was of the understanding there was nothing illegal as she claims IDALS has a thorough knowledge of the actions and gave their stamp of approval.
    Ms. Flockhart has never said if she is a registered foster under Dr. Hindle’s rescue or any other. She has said that she does volunteer for several. BTW, it was not me that said she was hiding or using Dr. Hindle’s license as she addressed me as of doing. Please check Adam’s and Laura’s comments. I did suggest the possibility of her being a registered foster under Dr. Hindle’s rescue. Big difference.

    If Ms. Flockhart is not a registered foster, then according to Iowa code, would her actions then be considered illegal? If she is a registered foster, the allowable number of cats over the age of 4 months exceeds the limit of 4. Would that not then be considered illegal?

    She has openly admitted to accepting monies and donations. If she is not registered with the IRS as a 501c3, would not then this activity be considered illegal?

    Is it not a bit puzzling that if IDALS does indeed have full knowledge of this situation why it is allowed to continue on with what appears to be a conflict with Iowa law? Are they turning a blind eye?

    Is it not the responsibility and duty of IDALS to enforce the code/law? How would IDALS treat a breeder if they broke the code pertaining to their business? Would it be equal treatment under the law? Some of us know the answer to that as we have witnessed the results. If not, then does this not constitute prejudicial application of the law? Or, could it also be construed as possibly some sort of impropriety?

    What was IDALS response to the questions of whomever filed a complaint? Did they admit the law was broken as it strongly appears, or did they offer some type of excusing explanation? How receptive was IDALS to the complaint? Helpful or ????

    The above are my questions and mine alone.

    • Katt Flockhart

      Betsy your issues/questions/comments are just getting to be repetitive nonsense. If YOU have a problem with how IDALS is approving this operations, you should call them YOURSELF. And ask THEM why this is passable by their rules and regulations. Perhaps this situation would have been better had they been stray or had rabies, I could have just called you to shoot them?

      • Phyl Wessling

        Betsy Fickle you just might want to make note of this….according to State and County Public Health Department if you encounter an animal be it a dog, cat, fox, bat, coyote that appears to be rabid, contact your medical doctor, contact your county sheriff or police department and try to keep the animal alive. Our medical doctors state the same.

      • Nancy Glick

        This is actually in reply to Phyllis Wessling’s comment to Betsy regarding the dog. Aside from trying to take the focus off of the legitimate questions being asked concerning whether or not the cats are being housed legally according to Iowa law, what does this have to do with these cats and their owner who gave them up? Since none of the cats in this case are rabid or feared to be rabid, your post has nothing to do with the question of whether or not THIS situation with the cats is being done legally.

        I understand Katt’s frustration in this and why she lashed out with her comment to Betsy. That is just human nature when a person is frustrated. I commend her for sticking to her guns with her promise to keep the owner’s name out of it. This isn’t just a case of a dog breeder asking questions, but also other people involved in rescue and a vet asking the same questions.

        Here is my thought to those rescues who don’t have room to take in some of these cats. Maybe if you weren’t going to other states to bring in animals or going to auctions (also usually in other states) to BUY animals to resell, maybe you WOULD have room to take some in and then Katt would not be put in this position. If you would stick to helping IOWA animals, since the claim is that Iowa shelters are too full STOP bringing in animals from other states and take care of those in our own state who need help. Maybe then situations like this one would not happen. There are shelters in the north and northeast who have shelters with a lot of open room who can take in animals from other states. Maybe it’s time for Iowa to working on helping and rehoming our own until our shelters are like those north of us.

        I know you are going to ask, Phyllis, so I will set your mind at ease on whether I am doing anything to help. Yes, I’ve spent the last few days trying to find rescues in my area that may be able to take some of the cats. I pass on to Katt any I find. So far it has just been one newer rescue who might be able to but it’s a start. My vet also allowed me to put up a donation can to collect money to help the woman who had the cats to clean up her house so she can stay in it.

  • Mari Peterson

    Katt, I think your efforts are wonderful, I just wonder why it was necessary for WHO and you to be sure your “bar” got advertised with this story. Free advertising is wonderful, no???

    • Katt Flockhart

      Mari I actually agree with you. I didn’t ask for the bar to be involved. I actually had to work that day but made sure to not wear a bar shirt. Its not about the bar at all. I didn’t know what was going to be on this newscast until I saw it. There were other points made about the cats that were left out. If it was up to me to edit it, more cat information would have been given in place of the ‘bar shoot’ as it was time that could have been used on showing more cats, or Lisa or I asking for placement. But, I am simply a bar owner, NOT a news editor at WHO.

  • Janet Jones

    There would have been no reason to have removed ALL of the cats in one big swoop. Had legal rescues been contacted these animals could have been taken out of the woman’s home say 5 or 6 at a time and dispersed directly into legal and licensed rescues and foster homes. It could have happened over a 30 day period without the need for this what seems to be illegally run animal shelter. There was no need for this woman to be devastated to take every single animal all at one time. Imagine that ! Certainly she needed assistance. But they couldn’t have left her with 2 cats ? I can’t imagine how lonely she feels without at least a pet or two. Clean up can still be done there. What was the RUSH. Obviously this had been going on for a long time, no cat or human was going to die in 30 days due to the conditions. And why the media attention ? Just trying to get some glory and money to a cause that didn’t need to happen at all. LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME – I’m so wonderful – I devastated a woman’s life and took away her only company – and I am going to complain about it and beg money for a situation I created . These cats didn’t need to be taken to be warehoused “temporarily” that middle step was NOT needed and appears to be illegal.

    • Phyl Wessling

      Janet Jones…really Janet Jones? Are you serious about what you just said or are you laughing about the joke you just made? Male cat pee stinks to high heaven, are you suggesting this elderly woman should have continued to live in these conditons for just how many more days or months as it appears you are presenting it.. ever heard of the word compassion? Are you alluding that this elderly woman should just wait? Janet Jones sorry you can not wrap your head around the stench and smell from unaltered cats living in your home, perhaps that is because you live in a similiar situation and find nothing wrong with it and are seeking to justify your life style. Janet Jones ” No cat or human was going to die in 30 days due to these conditions.” and you are saying this because you can see the future? You are all knowing? most powerful or a want a be?

    • Katt Flockhart

      Janet, as yet another person who apparently doesn’t read all of the comments before replying, the woman DID ask for help in removing ALL of the cats, she has ONE that has chosen to keep. The cat was not left there as she needs to get her home cleaned first. When you cant even wear a mask to cover the odor being in there for 10 minutes, how is healthy for a small feline body to breathe that in without a mask 24/7? “Had legal rescues been contacted these animals could have been taken out of the woman’s home say 5 or 6 at a time and dispersed directly into legal and licensed rescues and foster homes.” COULD, but doesn’t say WOULD have. And wether a rescue was there to take these cats that day or this day, is a question for them NOW on why they aren’t taking these fully vetted cats, NOW. The owner is not crying over coffee every day missing her cats. She was READY to be done with this, and to get her life and her home back. And the rush? The person who contacted me was in this house on Monday. When her and I went Wednesday, the small kittens had taken a massive downfall, and were in fact dying. The 30 days didn’t start that day, it had started long before. So at some point, the time DOES come. This is not a ‘ look at me’ situation, but HELP THESE CATS for Gods sake.

  • Phyl Wessling

    Janet Jones…. Mari Peterson and Tara Hanson thanks for your ongoing interest in this elderly woman and the plight of the cats. Just how much money are you donating?

  • Katt Flockhart

    FOR ALL COMMENTERS: The state of IA, IDALS was here in person and also on the phone to people here Friday. Everything is done properly and LEGAL, as they already knew. They received a complaint, which Im surprised it took this long from an onlooker, non involved, non knowing person. So they followed up. Nothing being done is illegal, nothing is hindering the health of these animals, we ( all who ARE involved) are commended for helping this woman and her pets. The building is legal, the care is legal, the donations are legal, the adoptions are legal. So for whomever would like to keep spouting off this is so illegal, perhaps you can again call IDALS and ask THEM why its not. Perhaps your time would be better spent helping to look for super homes for these kitties and get them out of THIS horrible situation you tend to believe is going on.

  • Phyl Wessling

    Nancy Glick…are you saying Betsy Fickel shot a dog? Re-read my Public Health Notice comment no where did I say Betsy shot a dog.

    • Nancy Glick

      No……I asked you what your comment had to do with the cats since no one is questioning whether they are rabid. A question you have once again avoided answering as you always do.

      • Phyl Wessling

        Well nothing regarding these rescued cats, since Katt has patiently answered so many unnecessary repetitive questions. However, it never is in error to point out as a Public Service message as to the proper procedure regarding a stray animal or a wild one for that matter. Some people are just too quick to grab a gun and kill the animal without a true justification and then use the possible rabies scenerio to absolve themselves of their bad judgement and the ramifications of that unncessary killing act.

      • Nancy Glick

        Well if it is only for public service purposes then this link to laws pertaining to farm owners rights to protect their property should also be included, given your answer to me. I believe then that this subject should be dropped and things guided back to the cats. http://doglaw.hugpug.com/doglaw_088.html An excerpt from the article:
        The two cardinal rules, which apply almost everywhere, are:
        1. A livestock owner is free to kill a dog that is killing, wounding, chasing, worrying, harassing, or attacking livestock.
        2. A dog’s owner or keeper is financially liable for any livestock damage the dog causes.

        In some states, the dog’s owner may be liable for double the amount of actual damages. In California, for example, the owner of livestock injured or killed by a dog may sue the dog’s owner for twice the amount of the financial loss.

  • Betsy Fickel

    Seems my comments got lost in cyberspace somewhere, so will try again. First off, PW’s comments about rabid animals, etc. are nothing more than the Alinsky deflect and distract technique. Secondly, I have to agree that if those shelters/rescues, etc. were not importing pets for resale, they would probably have had room for IOWA animals.

    From what Ms. Flockhart has written, it appears she was of the understanding that absolutely everything was legal. However, in reading IA code, there is direct conflict between the code and the manner in which things were conducted. There is also the question of, by her own admittance, personally accepting monies and donations from the public. Would this not then warrant an EIN and registering as a non profit with the IRS?

    As it has been stated, IDALS had the full knowledge of the manner in which things were done. RE questions: my posting Sept. 5 at 10:05 p.m. As it is not Ms. Flockhart’s responsibility to answer for IDALS and their reasoning, I respectfully request she give us the name of the IDALS personnel that approved this. That way, if people want to contact IDALS for answers, the reference is at hand. Would you do that for us, Ms. Flockhart? If not, then would it not beg the reason(s) as to why not?

    It has also been brought to my attention about the town zoning issue as how is this building where the cats are being kept, is registered with the city. Commercial? Residential?

    My reason for questioning the legal aspect, is because had breeders did things that contradict IA code, the state would be on them like flies on fresh poop.

  • Betsy Fickel

    WHO, would you please explain why my posts are no longer being allowed to be seen? Is it because some very legitimate, hard questions have been asked? Is it because I feel the focus needs to remain on the issue at hand and continue to ask questions when direct answers are obviously being avoided, not only to my posts, but to others?

    Is there a problem with my request Ms. Flockhart tell us the name of the IDALS personnel so that people may take her suggestion and contact IDALS themselves for answers.

    Is there a problem that I have mentioned that it appears Ms. Flockhart proceeded with the understanding every thing was legal?

    Is there some type of problem with citizenry calling out circumstances that are in conflict with the IA code, yet deemed permissible by IDALS? Is someone being “protected”?

  • Phyl Wessling

    Nancy Glick last time we checked you are not in charge of this response page. We understand your apprehension wtih the thought of exploring different ways of doing things. Most changes do start out that way. Nancy we so agree with you, the laws in Iowa are so inadequate for protecting wandering dogs,, unfortunately there is given even less protection under the current law for cats. .Unfortunately people with poor judgement own guns and live in the country and indiscriminately kill what ever becomes an inconvenience under the protection of the current Iowa laws that they can and do what ever, without any ramifications regarding their poor judgement.

    • Nancy Glick

      I didn’t know I was trying to run it. I just thought it would be nice to find a way to help get the cats into homes or to rescues and off of subjects that have nothing to do with the cats and their present situation. I know it’s hard for someone like you to understand, but those laws for farmers are written as they are for a reason and getting them changed in a farming state will not be an easy task. I have no more to say about it so carry on if that’s your desire.

      • Phyl Wessling

        Nancy Glick, arpparently you are not aware of some major changes in the surrounding farming states around Iowa: Illinois, Wisconsin and now Minnesota, the land of 10,000 puppy mills just got on board. Historically Minnesota has been a haven for puppy mills, but no longer. They recently passed a law that will regulate Minnesota commerical dog breeders. Minnesota is one of the top puppy mill states, but it had no laws to regulate commercial breeders. As a result, puppy millers churned out dogs with no state oversight, despite repeated USDA violations. the New Dog and Cat Breeders Regulation Law will require licensing and inspections by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and it denies a license to anyone convicted of animal cruelty. This reform is a long time coming. We strongly believe Iowa will soon follow suit. In addition to that retail pet sale bans has been implemented in over 55 jurisdictions across the continent, including big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and San Diego.

  • Betsy Fickel

    I will stay on track with this post and not play into what appears to be a deft play of the Alinsky method of detract and deflect.
    Some of the aforementioned discrepancies with what actions were taken vs. IA code still need addressing. It is an understood that Ms. Flockhart was of the understanding that everything she was doing was within the legal realm as she claims IDALS approved. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the IDALS personnel directly involved to provide the answers and their reasoning.

    I respectfully request Ms. Flockhart to provide the name (s) of the IDALS personnel so they may be contacted by those wishing to do so as per Ms. Flockhart’s suggestion.

    There is also the question of personally accepting monies and donations to care for the cats by Ms. Flockhart’s own admission. Does this not require being a registered rescue, and having a federal EIN number?

    As another party asked me, did the town break it’s own rules, too? How is the property zoned where the cats are currently housed? Commercial? Residential? It is understood the town did give approval for use of the building.

    Ms. Flockhart, you may be feeling “picked on”, but have you ever stopped to consider that these questions people are asking just may save you a lot of grief at some point in time? Or possibly someone else reading this whole discourse?

  • Katt Flockhart

    Betsy perhaps the reason you feel your comments are not being ‘ seen’ due to removal is that no one wishes to reply to you anymore. Including myself. But Im not one to back away, especially when it comes to defending my own actions. So please climb down of your high horse assuming YOUR questions are so incredibly hard to answer and are correct in that laws are being broken. There is no avoidance here by fault, but by much irritation of your dense repetitiveness. This is very simple. The woman surrendered her cats to me. As in, gave me her pets. There is no law stating every ‘pet’ exchanged between two common homes needs IDALS involved or a contract or a rescue. So right now, technically, I am the owner of these cats. I may choose to keep them or surrender them myself to rescue, Which is obviously the plan and has been all along. Since a rescue was unable to step in and take all cats at one time. ANYONE can ask for donations and NOT need a EIN or 501c3. Its up to the generous donors if they give a sizeable donation to want their tax write off thru a legal non profit. What is the difference here in you asking if there was a fundraiser set up for the woman to recover her loss on her house/clean up? Shall we get her started on a 501 so its all correct and LEGAL in your book? For a one time need of items it is unnecessary. Everywhere I have asked for donations it has been for food/litter/cat supplies. NOT CASH. I did state there will be a bill incurred for the water/electricity and if anyone wanted to donate to that they can directly to the city. I own this building flat out. It is zoned for commercial. I don’t feel picked on as you say, The first 5 times the same questions were asked was fine, but having to answer the same ones over and over and over again is just ridiculous. I have already stated Im glad people DO ask questions. But when you ask questions then skip over the answers, or keep asking the same questions in different forms, is a waste of time. I will not give out the IDALS inspectors name, nor the exact conversation. If anyone wishes to contact IDALS, Im sure you can give them my name and this situation, and they can answer matter of factly, without any hearsay or misspoken words. To hear it DIRECTLY from them is apparently what you need to hear. The sad part here, is that I can tell you IDALS has approved this, and that’s still all you care about, is finding some way to finagle a law being broken, instead of NOW helping the cats in need here.

    • Betsy Fickel

      Observations addressed to the PUBLIC. Interesting that the IDALS person’s name won’t be given out. Wonder why that is? Exactly what was expected.
      Does this scenario then mean anyone, breeders included, can take in animals, ask the public for donations to pay expenses incurred for them, house them where ever, then give them to a rescue for the rescue to sell, and there is absolutely NO state or federal oversight or regulation involved?? NO accountability to anyone??

      Is that not the essence of the explanation given?
      Quite ingenious.

  • Katt Flockhart

    Give it up Betsy. Nothing you say or do will change this situation. If you would like to know WHO was here then call IDALS and ask. Its quite that simple. You are breeding dogs for profit. You are a commercial breeder following IDALS commercial breeding regulations. These are cats given to me, and being taken care of. If I so choose to surrender my pet to rescue to be adopted, so be it. That’s in fact exactly what rescues are there for. Rescues do not SELL they adopt. YOU sell. You in fact BREED to SELL. You asked if there was fundraiser for this woman. Is that so you can poo-poo it? Or donate to it to help her out? If you are donating to her, are you going to ask whoever is running it for a copy of their 501c3? I have two words for you too, and its not ‘ quite ingenious’. Be a big girl, make the phone call.

    • Betsy Fickel

      :) Just making observations to the public and asking questions as food for thought. Know full well nothing will come of it. Knew that from the git go.
      So what is wrong with asking questions for clarification where there seems to be conflicts and contradictions? Others had questions, too. Most of the questions asked by all, remain unanswered. The answers that were given were quite predictable.
      Time to say good bye on this.

      Have a nice day. :)

  • Katt Flockhart

    Youre not making observations for the public as the pubic is full aware of asking questions themselves. You are stirring the invisible pot. Furthermore, if you ‘ knew’ nothing would come of it, point is? Oh wait, making observations for the public or asking questions for clarifications? If you need to start a conversation with me, for yourself, Im sure you know how to reach me by now. If others had questions, which they have ( and have been answered, if I missed any…my apologies) they would be here and have been. Which questions asked by all have been unanswered? the only one I know of right now is your question on who the IDALS inspector was? Which you can find out by calling :)

  • Phyl Wessling

    Katt … thank you and thank you some more for stepping up and helping the elderly woman, your community and the cats in need. You are a role model for others to follow. Unfortunately, on the dark side….. there are others who have made it apparent by the snarky nonsensical repetitive questions that kept being presented to you and their desire for repeated answers over and over again. It is more like a childish attempt at a ” got you moment” rather than a grown up desire to truly help this elderly woman and the plight of these cats. In addition, it is more like a pathetic attempt by those puppy millers to discourage anyone else to even attempt to help a human or animals in need and not so thinly veiled…more like a back off and do not report any attempt to bring attention to animals in need …..by any News Media. Heaven help Iowa, if Fickel and Glick…. dog breeders are the face of the Iowa puppy mill industry. A Megga thanks to WHO for having the common sense, fortitude and courage to present this story. Your segment on the care taking of an elderly woman and the plight of her cats should have never led to such an outlandish pouring of nonsensical repetitive questions.

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