Cat hoarder charged with animal cruelty

A Willard woman faces 10 charges of animal cruelty in connection with harboring 86 cats and several dogs in her home.
Aaron Krause
Feb 18, 2011

A Willard woman faces 10 charges of animal cruelty in connection with harboring 86 cats and several dogs in her home.

Willard Assistant Law Director Scott Christophel filed the charges, all second degree misdemeanors, against Ruth Barnett, of 28 Spring St.

Late January marked the third time authorities were called to Barnett's home to remove animals, said Kathy Olak, Huron County Humane Society board vice president. Olak added that Barnett has been cited in the past.

"I think the right thing to do is to try and help her," Olak said. "We're not about punishing people but helping people. When our people go out on calls we try to educate people. What happened with her was a last resort ... that's not what we like to do. We want to help people."

Only five of the 86 cats were not put to sleep. Olak has said the five felines are doing well.

Find more of this story and other exclusive content in the Norwalk Reflector print edition or the E·Paper online newspaper.