Madrid Man Charged in Cat Hoarding Case Refuses Plea Deal

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POLK COUNTY, Iowa -- A Madrid man accused of keeping hundreds of dead and living cats at his home and surrounding property refused a plea deal Thursday morning.

Sixty-five-year-old Dennis Carlson had been expected to plead guilty to just one count of animal neglect causing death or serious injury during a hearing at the Polk County Courthouse. That would have landed him with a suspended sentence of one year in jail, an $1,800 fine, and mental health evaluation.

Instead, Carlson opted to let his case go to trial in November, where he will likely face many additional charges.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa said it took weeks before the rescued cats were healthy enough to be adopted. Sadly 10 of them died in their care and nine had to be humanely put down due to their suffering.

Ninety of the remaining cats have already gone to permanent homes and 24 cats are currently up for adoption.

This wasn`t the only case of animal hoarding this summer, making the Animal Rescue League more crowded than ever.

“We had multiple hoarding situations, each one of them carried a lot of cats, not that large in numbers as the Madrid case but certainly added to the horrific numbers of cats and kittens that are coming in,” said ARL CEO Tom Colvin.

The ARL currently has hundreds of cats available for adoption.

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