Michigan Couple May Face Prison Time For Having 178 Cats

WEST BROOMFIELD, MI — There may be prison time for the West Bloomfield couple accused of the largest animal hoarding case in Oakland County, officials announced Thursday.

Jonathan and Jennifer Klein were charged Thursday with abandonment/cruelty to 10 or more animals, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and up to 500 hours of community service, officials said.

Between April and May, animal control removed a total of 178 cats from their home on Elsie Drive.

“These charges represent a lot of outstanding work and commitment by Oakland County Animal Control Officer Rachel Whitlock and the rest of our animal control staff along with our partners at the Michigan Humane Society,” said Bob Gatt, manager of Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center. “They have given a voice to 178 cats who were living in deplorable conditions.”

The charges stem from an investigation by Oakland County animal control officers who checked on the welfare of cats at a home in West Bloomfield on April 24. Officers observed at least six cats that needed immediate medical attention, officials explained.

A search warrant was obtained to enter the home where they discovered many more cats living in poor and unsanitary conditions, officials said. Over several weeks, animal control officers seized 178 cats from the home.

Nearly all cats needed medical attention, authorities said, and at least 60 had to be euthanized because of medical problems.

The Kleins’ bail was set at $10,000, along with conditions that included neither having contact with nor possessing any animals during the court process. After the arraignment, the Kleins each posted 10 percent of the bail and were released, officials said. They will return to court June 20.

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