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Homeowner charged after 31 cats seized

A Spokane Valley homeowner whose 31 cats were seized last week has been charged with animal cruelty.

Officials say Julianna O. Bauer cooperated with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service and relinquished the felines, which were seized Sept. 15 after animal protection officers said they found the cats in horrible conditions.

Officers wore protective suits and respirators while searching Bauer’s home at 4616 N. Larch Road for the cats.

“Ms. Bauer was willing to do the right thing and relinquish her cats to SCRAPS, but given the serious situation, the charges were warranted,” said Nancy Hill, SCRAPS director.

Bauer faces two counts of second-degree animal cruelty and one count of confinement in an unsafe manner.

Bauer’s cats, who had no major long-term health problems, are available for adoption, along with hundreds of other cats.

Forty-five cats were adopted last week at discount prices, but 118 were brought in, prompting SCRAPS to continue the special this week.

Today through Saturday, adoption fees are $25 for one cat and $40 for two cats, which includes spaying or neutering, vaccines, microchips and licenses.

“We hope that our community will step up and start placing a higher value on cats as pets,” said Jackie Bell, SCRAPS development director.

Local shelters took in more than 11,650 cats last year - an increase of nearly 500 in 2008, Bell said.

“We need to turn that trend around.”

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