PETA Calls On City to Crack Down on Hoarding After Nearly 100 Cats Die in Fire

Group Wants to Know How Many More Illegal Hoarding Sites Go Unchecked in San José

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2013

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San José, Calif. — In response to news that a house fire killed all but seven of some 100 cats—most of them locked in cages and unable to flee—in the San José home of animal hoarder Carole Miller, PETA has sent a letter urging city officials to expand their planned task force for addressing future hoarding cases to include an immediate and thorough review of any past complaints about residents harboring more than the five adult animals legally allowed by San José’s city code.

In its letter, the group stresses the importance of stopping anyone who is hoarding animals over the legal limit from harboring the animals and points to Miller’s case: Although officials inspected her property, they didn’t enforce the five-animal limit. As a result, nearly 100 cats burned to death in Miller’s home while trapped inside plastic carriers and wire crates. According to news sources, neighbors reported hearing the trapped animals screaming as they were burned alive.

“The city of San José has laws in place that should have prevented almost 100 caged cats from being burned to death in a hoarder’s house fire, unable to flee as their plastic crates melted onto their bodies,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on city leaders to inspect their records immediately to determine if any more hoarding operations have been swept under the rug. If so, the city has a duty to shut them down right now.”

PETA has sent the City of San José Animal Care & Services a packet of information on how to combat hoarding, including a guide for prosecutors, judges, and law-enforcement agents and a presentation on the prevalence of and psychological motivations for hoarding.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind