Plea Hearing Thursday in Madrid Cat Hoarding Case


Dennis Carlson (WHO-HD)

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POLK COUNTY, Iowa – A Madrid man is scheduled to be in court Thursday for a plea hearing on a charge of animal neglect causing death or serious injury after authorities found hundreds of cats in his home this summer.

Sixty-five-year-old Dennis Carlson is expected to plead guilty in the case. Officials say he was living with 389 cats, 203 of which were deceased, at his property.

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.

Carlson is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 on Thursday morning.


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