Animal programs

Ypsilanti woman with history of hoarding pleads guilty to animal cruelty

ANN ARBOUR, Mich. – A Ypsilanti resident would plead guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) said.

Suzanne Marie Thompson, of Ypsilanti, is facing a repeated charge of 25 animal neglect after HSHV cruelty investigators removed 21 cats and 1 dog from Thompson’s home in November. According to a statement, many animals were severely emaciated or needed medical attention.

Officials said animals had been taken from Thompson four times since 2006. In 2013, she was charged with animal cruelty, paid $500 in restitution and was sentenced to two years probation after her residence was was condemned for sanitation problems.

She will be sentenced in District Court 14-B on April 7.

“While we often see hoarder-type neglect among large-scale ranchers, as we just did in Traverse City, animal hoarding is generally associated with serious mental health issues. But without mandatory treatment and ongoing monitoring, the situation unfortunately never changes,” said HSHV CEO Tanya Hilgendorf.

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“The recidivism rate is extremely high; individuals remain sick, more animals suffer, and shelters face overcrowding and the challenges of helping sick and traumatized animals. No one wins when animal cruelty is taken lightly. We are very grateful to the donors who help us take care of these special needs animals, the adopters who want to give them a good home and all those who mobilize and defend animals and humans.

The animals removed from the Ypsilanti residence in November have since been adopted after receiving medical and behavioral treatment.

Those who suspect animal neglect or cruelty should call the HSHV cruelty hotline at 734-661-3512 or file a report online.

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Humane Society of Huron Valley has a pet food bank, low-cost veterinary care clinics, behavioral programs, and an emergency shelter for animals in need.

Those in the Humane Society’s service area can receive assistance by calling 734-662-5585.

Learn more about HSHV resources here.

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