Couple Arrested After About 200 Cats Seized From Florida Home: Authorities

Allan and Ella Kirkman of Milton face several charges, including nuisance injurious to health and selling or letting diseased animals roam

Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 3:59 PM EDT
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Deputies and animal control workers removed some 200 cats from a home in northern Florida.

Allan and Ella Kirkman of Milton were arrested Monday and face several charges, including nuisance injurious to health and selling or letting diseased animals roam, according to authorities. It was not immediately known whether they have an attorney.

The Pensacola News Journal reported the Kirkmans have operated a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter called Kirkman Kattery Rescue out of their home for years. Their company website says they've been trying to raise funds to build a facility for the cats.

The cats were taken to a local animal shelter.

"For the time being we have the space to house and care for them,'' said animal control interim director Dale Hamilton.

He said the cats will be examined before their fate is determined.

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Several neighbors told the News Journal they knew the Kirkmans had cats, but had no idea there were close to 200 cats in the house.

Zack Bray told the newspaper the couple's garage was "stacked up to the ceiling'' with cages.

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Ella Kirkman's sister, June Mahar, told the newspaper she's shocked by their arrests.

She was the secretary for the business during its early stages and said the couple always took excellent care of the animals.

"It started up small and just blew up I guess,'' she said.

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