MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WJMN) – Manistique Public Safety Department began an investigation into a report of animal cruelty at a residence on South Maple Street in Manistique.
Officers obtained search warrants and discovered a large number of cats in the home living in conditions likely to cause sickness or disease. MPSD Investigator Regan Twardokus began live-trapping the cats to remove them from the home. They were turned over to the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter of Manistique for care and eventual adoption if deemed fit for it. They have continued trapping cats over the past two weeks and have to date obtained 65 living cats, including kittens, additionally, they have found at least 15 deceased cats in various stages of decomposition present in the home.
On September 1, 2021, Kathleen Ann Hurkmans, age 67 was arrested on a felony animal cruelty warrant issued by Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Timothy Noble. Hurkams was arraigned before the 93rd District Court on September 2, 2021. She was formally charged with one count of Animals – Abandoning / Cruelty to 24 or more Animals, did fail to provide 25 or more animals with adequate care, or negligently allow 25 or more animals to suffer neglect, torture, or pain, a Felony, 7 years, $10,000 fine, not less than 5 years probation, up to 500 hours of community service, or any combination of penalties.
Judge Mark Luoma of the 93rd District Court set Hurkmans’ bond at $5,000 / Personal Recognizance allowed. The Probably Cause Conference for the case is set for September 8, 2021, at 9:00 A.M. and the Preliminary Hearing is set for September 20, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. The Defendant was ordered to not return to the residence, not to possess any animals and was also ordered to submit to a psychological exam.
The Manistique Public Safety Department has been assisted in the investigation by the Michigan State Police, Sault Tribal Police, Eva Burrell Animal Shelter, Thompson Veterinary Clinic and the Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft (LMAS) Health Department. It is suspected that there are more cats in the residence and efforts continue to safely recover them. The investigation is ongoing and no other information is available at this time.