Pending Investigation, Cat Hoarder Could Face Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says cats are still waiting to be rescued from inside a Des Moines home.

Since last week, 32 living and 17 deceased cats have been taken from filthy conditions in the home on E. Morton Avenue. The animals are now in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

ARL spokesman Josh Colvin says this investigation is difficult because there are several cats still living with the owner inside the home. Some of the animals are pregnant and delivering kittens, so the number of cats still living there is fluctuating. The ARL says the owner suffers from a hoarding disorder and hopes he can give up the remaining cats.

“It’s still under investigation on what our next steps are going to be, so that’s kind of up in the air. You know, hopefully we can get these guys placed in good homes at the end of it, and that’s our goal,” Josh Colvin Animal Rescue League said.

Colvin says officers respond to more than five animal hoarding calls every month, and that number has gone up over the last five years.

Police say the owner could face charges of animal neglect and failing to license and vaccinate the animals, but that would not happen until the investigation is finished.