Photo: Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center

West Bloomfield Couple Charged With Cruelty In Cat Hoarding Case

June 13, 2019 - 10:48 am

WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - A West Bloomfield couple is facing felony charges in what is being called the largest animal hoarding case in Oakland County history.

Jonathan and Jennifer Klein were arraigned in 48th District Court Monday, each facing one count each of abandonment/cruelty to 10 or more animals, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and up to 500 hours of community service.

This comes after animal control officers over three days in May removed 178 cats found living without proper care at a home in the 1700 block of Elsie Drive, off Greer near Hiller. 

Officials said many of the cats were suffering from a variety of health issues, including upper respiratory infections, fleas, skin infections, ear mites and malnutrition.

Calling it the "worst animal hoarding case" he'd ever seen, Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center Manager Bob Gat said 60 of the cats were humanely euthanized because of severe illness or aggression.

Judge D’Agostini set bond at $10,000, 10% for both Kleins with conditions which include neither having contact with nor possessing any animals during the court process. 

“These charges represent a lot of outstanding work and commitment by Oakland County Animal Control Officer Rachel Whitlock and the rest of our animal control staff along with our partners at the Michigan Humane Society,” said Bob Gatt, manager of Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center. “They have given a voice to 178 cats who were living in deplorable conditions.”

The Kleins each posted $1,000 bond and were released. They will be back in court for a probable cause conference scheduled for June 20.