Sister of cat hoarder says she didn't know extent of problem

By Jill Sperling
May 17, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: May 17, 2017 - 8:20pm

CHASE, B.C. — The BC SPCA seized 59 cats from filthy living conditions in Chase last week. 

The man who owned the cats faces potential charges of animal cruelty. 

His sister, Krystal Laluha, spoke out Wednesday, saying she's been hurt by the situation. 

"I feel really taken advantage of, I feel I've been lied to," Laluha said. 

When her brother was evicted last December for keeping more than 30 cats in an apartment in Kamloops, Laluha provided him and a few of his cats a place to stay. 

"He went and got the other cats that the SPCA had taken, they released those 35 cats back to him, and he brought them back to my house, and put them in the campers," she said. 

Laluha says she didn't realize how many cats were on the property until the issue was exposed by concerned residents on social media. 

She then took her concerns to an animal protection officer with the BC SPCA, and last Thursday the cats were seized. 

The cats were in poor health, dehydrated, suffering from infections, and trauma. They are currently being cared for at BC SPCA branches in the Okanagan and Kootenays.

Laluha says the situation has caused her relationship with her brother to break down. 

"To be honest, I'm a little bit bitter about the whole thing," Laluha said. "I don't wish anybody ill feelings, but I think that's probably much the end of our relationship."

Laluha believes her brother, who no longer resides with her, may have mental health issues and that he had no intention of harming the animals. 

"He isn't an animal abuser, but I do believe that he probably has a mental illness, even with talking to the SPCA, they've seen it before where he may be a hoarder."

While the investigation and cat seizure has been a source of stress for Laluha, she's happy to have the situation resolved. 

"I'm glad that it's all dealt with," she said. "I'm glad that the animals are in a better place, and they're going to be looked after. I hope that (my brother) gets the help that he needs, and I'm just looking forward to putting this all behind me."

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