MEDIA RELEASE: Victory for Cat Victims of Monterey County Kitten Mill
MONTEREY, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2022) — In Defense of Animals applauds the Monterey County District Attorney for serving justice for dozens of cats and kittens who were victims of the animal breeding industry. The San Francisco Bay-Area nonprofit organization stepped up to defend the surviving cats upon receiving calls and emails from outraged supporters.
Over 13,500 In Defense of Animals supporters sent letters to the District Attorney’s office urging prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. On July 13, Scottish Fold breeder Debra Kallmeyer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for failing to care for her animals. According to the District Attorney’s office, she was sentenced to “one-year probation on the following terms and conditions: 30 days jail, not possess any animals for one year, allow her premises to be inspected by the SPCA to ensure that no animals are in her possession, undergo a mental health assessment by Monterey County Behavior Health Department, and pay restitution to the SPCA.”
“We’re proud to report a victory for cats and kittens who suffered and died in cages at a kitten mill in Monterey, California,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. “After this tragic case of neglect and cruelty, we hope everyone commits to adopting animals instead of buying them. Even when breeders are registered with professional associations, it provides no protection or proof of compassionate or cruelty-free lives. Animals used to breed kittens and puppies suffer in silence behind closed doors. Purchasing animals supports the proliferation of kitten and puppy mills, where animals are forced to give birth repeatedly and live pitiful, lonely lives in cages and runs, often without proper care.”
According to the Monterey County District Attorney, the breeder refused help and welfare checks on her animals. In September 2021, SPCA Monterey County entered the property and found 31 cats, two dogs, and three dead kittens in unsanitary conditions surrounded by feces, urine, and mold. Sadly, at least three kittens suffered from respiratory infections and starved to death before help arrived.
Many cats appeared to be unsocialized and scared. There were at least two litters of kittens and some senior cats living in cages with matted fur and infected eyes. A mother was separated from her tiny kittens, and she rushed to be with her kittens as soon as she was liberated. Fortunately, most of the Scottish Fold cats were treated for illnesses and adopted to loving homes by SPCA Monterey County, which was inundated with adoption requests.
SPCA Monterey County forwarded the case to the Monterey County District Attorney in December 2021. Scott Delucchi, President and CEO of SPCA Monterey County told In Defense of Animals, “SPCA Monterey County needed no urging to pursue this case vigorously and submit it to the District Attorney's Office for their consideration.”
Lisa Levinson, In Defense of Animals, Campaigns Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-620-2130
Rhonda Somerton, local advocate, 831-394-2344
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of protecting animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. https://www.idausa.org/cats
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