Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wisconsin: Delores Marti, 78, who has been caught hoarding cats for years - and who had 42 DEAD CATS IN HER FREEZER, pleads "no contest" to animal cruelty charges; gets three years probation

WISCONSIN -- The Monroe woman accused of keeping dozens of cats--dead and alive--in her home was sentenced to three years of probation Thursday.

Delores Marti, 78, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of intentionally or negligently mistreating animals and impersonating an animal shelter in Green County court Thursday.

Judge James Beer also ordered Marti to pay the city of Monroe $10,000 in restitution.

Marti is not allowed to own a cat for five years. Marti is also not allowed to have cat accessories, including carriers or pet-food bowls.

"The availability of probation allows probation officers to check and ensure that there are no pets," Green County district attorney Craig Nolen said. "We've built in added protections prohibiting her from owning or possessing any sort of cat carriers, animal-trapping devices, cat food, things to that extent."

When her home was first searched by police, reports claimed Marti had over 90 cats including 42 that were dead. This has since been revised to over 50 with five dead.


Marti was fined $175 in July 2012 and $175 in December 2013 for having too many cats. In 2013, she was found to have 30 cats in one home. She was also cited back in 2010 with orders on all three occasions to either demolish or repair the ammonia, feces and urine-filled homes.


It appears that until now - no one charged her with animal cruelty and did anything about the animals which were suffering.

“She acknowledges she had a problem... She's lost everything, all because of a love of cats that went way beyond the realm of reason," her attorney Chuck Wellington said.


"What people may think of me as a person ... does not represent me as a person and that is very troubling for me to deal with," Marti said.

In court Thursday, Chuck Wellington, Marti's attorney, said the situation at Marti's home stemmed from her love of cats.

"Ms. Marti's infractions really stem from a love of cats that has gone way beyond the realm of reasonableness," Wellington said.

"Perhaps your love for cats, it gets out of hand and it takes over what our good common sense normally would do," Beer said.

While Wellington noted that Marti had already undergone mental health counseling with Green County Human Services, Beer said during sentencing that she may be ordered to undergo further treatment.

The recidivism rate for hoarders is 100% unless there is mandatory psychological counseling THAT FOCUSES ON THE ANIMAL HOARDING because she literally cannot stop herself. It is not healthy for her or animals to be living in squalor and she will continue to hoard cats unless she is forced to seek treatment to address that aspect of her illness.

In August, authorities removed 42 dead cats from a freezer in the home in the 1100 block of 19th Street. Officials also found a dead cat in the garage. A total of 50 other cats were found alive and taken to the Green County Humane Society.


Christopher Moore of Freeport, Illinois told News 3 on Thursday he recently bought Marti's home for roughly $48,000. He said he's been cleaning up the squalid conditions inside in order to make the home livable.

"I've got to take a lot of doors out, a lot of windows, especially the closet doors, because they were trying to scratch their way through anything they could find," Moore said.

Moore said the cleanup process will involve removing the urine and feces littered throughout the home, where multiple cat carriers and cages still remain.

Monroe city attorney said Moore has until October to make the house habitable. Moore said officials want him to remove the stench still permeating throughout it.

Moore said when he discovered just how bad conditions were inside the house, he was shocked and saddened.

"It just shattered me," he said.


Moore said he believes Marti should have received a stronger punishment.

"I thought she should have gone to prison," Moore said.

Moore said he isn't sure what he'll do with the house once it is cleaned up. He said he'd like to get rid of it, but he isn't sure if anyone would want it.

"I think I really want to get rid of it, because I just don't want to have it," Moore said. "On the other hand, I could donate to Habitat for Humanity, but they may not want it."

(Channel3000 - Dec 23, 2016)


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