BEND, Ore. - A Redmond woman has been sentenced to three years' probation and forbidden from owning any animals for five years after 24 cats, three rats and a dog were seized from her mobile home last spring, Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty said Friday.
Neighbors of Catherine Hicks, 59, contacted sheriff's deputies last April 2, concerned about the welfare of animals in her home, at Desert Terrace Mobile Estates on S. Hwy. 97, Flaherty said. The next day, deputies removed 24 cats, three rats and a dog from the home, where they "were living in filth, the DA said.
"The home was covered in urine and feces, there were large numbers of flies throughout the house which covered windows, it was full of trash, and the animals inside were suffering from ailments commonly found in these types of cases, such as upper respiratory infection," Flaherty said.
A neighbor told NewsChannel 21 at the time, "You can see them when you are walking past the trailer in the window, gasping for air in the window – just laying there. There are flies just covering every single window."
Hicks was arrested and indicted by the DA's office on 28 counts of second-degree animal neglect. In May, Hicks agreed to forfeit most of the animals, though she posted $2,500 to maintain ownership of four cats being held with the other animals at BrightSide Animal Center.
On Thursday, Hicks pleaded guilty to second-degree animal neglect and was placed on probation for 36 months, with conditions that she forfeit all of the seized animals, receive mental health treatment and pay restitution of over $16,000, the cost of care for the animals by BrightSide while the case was pending.
Also, Flaherty said, Hicks will be prohibited from owning any animals for five years, subject to more criminal prosecution if she is found possessing animals.
Most of the kittens and cats have found new homes, Flaherty said, offering thanks to the sheriff's office, BrightSide and Deputy District Attorney Drew Moore for their work on the case.