Cat Hoarding Issue Surfaces Again
Posted at: 09/25/2012 6:23 PM
| Updated at: 09/25/2012 7:08 PM
It's been two and a half years since a Two Harbors man, Todd Stoehr, had been charged with crimes related to cat hoarding. But the issue has re-surfaced, and in a public way.
Ken Jones, of South Range, Wisconsin, made a presentation to the Two Harbors City Council on Monday night. He's pleading with them to take action and tear down the house, because he thinks its a public health safety risk.
"We want to keep Two Harbors healthy. Todd's house should be torn down. That's the bottom line," he said.
Jones told us he has toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be passed by cats who have a certain parasite. Jones believes he got sick from working in the yard of the home next door to the Stoehr property on 2nd Avenue.
"I have forgiven Stoehr," he said to us. "But I want the city to take responsibility. They're the ones who let him register too many cats."
Jones alleges that you can still smell the strong scent of cat feces, which was present in 2010 when authorities removed over 30 cats from the property.
We went there on Tuesday morning, and didn't smell anything. But another woman who lives down the block said that it depends on which way the wind is blowing, and if has been raining.
Stoehr's friend, Steve Phillips, is sticking up for Stoehr.
"I think people are over-reacting. There's many properties in town that are in a state of disrepair, and no one is up in arms," Phillips told us. Phillips is over there frequently, and said he doesn't smell anything.
Stoehr spoke to us over the phone, but said he was waiting for his attorney before he could comment.
Jones told the city council he doesn't want to sue them. He wants the property torn down and the soil tested, and if the tests don't show anything negative, he'll drop this crusade.
"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else," he said. He is referring to his illness. He said that his friends who lived next door to Stoehr are also dealing with health issues.
Mayor Randy Bolen said in a statement, "The City of Two Harbors has procedures in place for dealing with complaints like this, and that the city will follow these procedures."
City Councilor Roger Simonson said they have advised their city attorney to look into the matter, and tell them how to proceed.