ACS: One of 57 cats seized from woman's home was someone else's pet

Custody hearing for cats delayed until next week

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – It's been a week since 57 cats were taken from D'ann Trethan's home. 

"Some other people like me that care about animals, we tend to turn our own homes into shelters," Trethan told a KSAT crew, as Animal Care Service seized the animals from her northeast side home last week. 

Investigators say Trethan's house was covered in animal waste and the ammonia level was so high they had to call in a hazmat crew. 

On Thursday's it was announced that at least one of the cats in the home, was someone else's pet.

"The fortunate thing for that one cat was that he was micro-chipped and so we were able to locate his owner very quickly," said ACS Investigator Audra Houghton.

Houghton said the woman's cat has been missing for a year.

Investigators are working through a list of other missing cats that community members have called about, while preparing for the custody hearing. The hearing was set for Thursday morning. But Trethan met her lawyer for the first time Thursday; so ACS granted her attorney an additional week to prepare.  

That hearing will determine whether or not the cats have been cruelly treated. "It is our opinion that they have which is why we removed them," Houghton said.

If the judge agrees, ACS will be awarded the cats and find them new homes. ACS is also asking Trethan to reimburse them $11,000 for the investigation, the veterinary costs and the cats' daily care.

"Some people would look at that and say that's a lot of money to ask from a person who may not have a lot to give, but the reality is that if she doesn't pay for this process the taxpayers have to pay for it," Houghton said.

Houghton said the cats have a range of health issues and are being treated. She cannot release specific details until the hearing is over, but said they are getting better.

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