Accused Animal Hoarder Speaks Out
The Garvin County Sheriff’s office says about 108 different animals, everything from cats and dogs to rabbits and even a monkey, were in the house in what authorities call “Horrible conditions”.
But the woman who lives there says there are two sides to the story.
"I’d like to say it's just something I do. But it's my passion. It's not a hobby. It's my passion," she said.
The woman asked us to shield her identity; she's afraid she'll lose her job is she is on TV. But she wanted to tell people she isn't an animal hoarder. She says she rescues and adopts out unwanted pets.
"I’ve placed, I know well over 50 dogs and a few cats and not even a year, in about eight months," she said.
She says she's been doing it for years, often sacrificing what she needs, "To make sure that my kinkajou, my hedgehog, my sugar gliders would get the best food and the insects they need; all the vegetables and fruit and vitamins weekly."
One by one authorities brought cages out of the home this week following a tip that the woman was hoarding animals. Neighbors had complained their pets were disappearing. The woman insists she didn't take them.
But Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said, "We may have identified the owners of some of the animals in the Lindsay area, yes."
The woman has not been charged, but police say charges could be filed by the DA. In a warrant filed in Garvin County Court, police say conditions were filthy, and some animals seemed sick.
The woman took News 9 inside her home. The house reeked of urine, but otherwise wasn't overly cluttered. Still, Rhodes said she isn't licensed to use her home as a pet adoption center.
"Her heart was in the right place. She was just going about this the wrong way,” Rhodes said.
The woman insists she was just trying to help.
"I’m one that's trying to be a solution to the problem,” she said. “Unfortunately people believe pets are disposable."