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Suspects in Calif. hoarding case plead not guilty

Posted: September 11, 2012 9:00 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2012 9:00 p.m.

Animal welfare officials say they rescued 51 cats from a Seaside home.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A mother and daughter charged in a cat hoarding case after authorities say they found 51 cats in their home have pleaded not guilty to animal neglect and cruelty charges.

Animal welfare officials say they rescued the cats from a Seaside home belonging to 79-year-old Maggie Johnson and 46-year-old Donna Johnson.

Authorities also discovered 113 dead kittens in an apartment connected to the younger Johnson. No charges were filed over the dead kittens because the bodies were too decomposed for investigators to conclude a cause of death.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County says most of the surviving cats are healthy and recovering, but two were euthanized and one had died. The cats cannot be adopted until the case is resolved.

The two women scheduled to return to court on Oct. 3.


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