Cat House Worse Than "German Prison Camps"

Chesterfield woman sentenced for extreme animal abuse

By Chris Needham
|  Friday, Oct 9, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 PM EDT
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Cat House Worse Than "German Prison Camps"

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Poor kitty cats.

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We know what you're thinking.  "Another cat lady story?  Not again.  We've heard this one before."  Sure, but maybe not one like this.

Patti Wheeler, 52, of Chesterfield, Va., was sentenced Thursday to one year in prison for multiple counts of animal cruelty, reports the Star Exponent.  More than 50 helpless little kitties were living in squalor in a three-bedroom house, and 30 of them ultimately had to be put to sleep.

Standard cat lady stuff so far. 

But the judge in the case couldn't stomach it, reports the paper.

"Staring silently at a sheaf of pictures of the dwelling’s interior, Chesterfield General District Judge Robert D. Laney blanched and told the home’s occasional occupant that the pictures were worse than those he has viewed of German prison camps, homicide victims and lifeless teenage drivers."

The house was covered in skeletal remains, blood, cat poo, and other remains.  Wheeler had abandoned the home completely to the kitties, choosing to live in a sleeping bag in her car while the cats formed colonies and a "social hierarchy" to cope with the extreme abusive conditions they were subjected to.

While she returned to the house daily to feed them, a vet testified that the extreme conditions in the house prevented the kitties from being able to smell.  And when a cat can't smell, it won't eat.

Her attorney explained that she was just trying to help that cats, but was overwhelmed after a while.  He said that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." 

Turning that around, the prosecutor argued that her actions "may have been paved with good intent, but it was the animals who were in hell."

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