Animal cruelty charges after 21 cats found in Ludlow home


Ludlow Police have arrested a woman on a felony charge of animal cruelty after authorities rescued more than 20 cats that police say were living in deplorable conditions.

Ludlow Police Sgt. Daniel Valadas told 22News that Carrie Douthwright, 42, has been arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Valadas said police rescued 21 cats from Douthwright’s West Street home last weekend. Valadas said the cats were in “uninhabitable conditions,” amid garbage and clutter inside the house. There was also feces on the floor of the home and the furniture, and the home smelled of urine.

Hoarding animals is considered a psychological disorder. Animal cruelty is a felony in the state of Massachusetts. Animal cruelty includes harming an animal, abandoning an animal, attending an animal fight, or not proving proper care or a sanitary environment.

Massachusetts made animal cruelty a felony punishable by jail time 15-years-ago, but some people think the laws should be even stricter. 

“People should be accountable for it like child abuse as animals because they are like your children I have two pets and I adore them and love them and unconditionally they love you,” said Laurie Pelligrini of Chicopee. “Laws should be stiffer.”

Several of the cats were in very poor health at the time of the rescue, but all of them were found alive. Those cats are currently being treated at the MSPCA’s Animal Care and Adoption Center in Boston.

MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin said there are several ways you can get involved and help the cats rescued in Ludlow. You could consider adopting one of these rescued cats if there’s room in your home.

The MSPCA would also welcome monetary donations, or donations of food, beddings, or cat toys. If you would like to donate to visit MSPCA-Angell.

Douthwright was released on five thousand dollars surety and is due back in court on June 18.

To report animal cruelty anywhere in Massachusetts call 617-522-6008 or 800-628-5808, or submit a form online.

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