Dozens of cats seized from Mint Hill home

Published: Aug. 15, 2012 at 8:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2012 at 8:17 PM EDT
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MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - Mint Hill, N.C. (WBTV) -- Police say 45 cats were seized from a home in Mint Hill after conditions were found to be "detrimental to the health and well being of the felines."

On Friday a search warrant was served to Richard Coxwell and his daughter Suzette Coxwell by officers with the Mint Hill Police Department at their home on Gold Wagon Lane.

In all, 45 cats were taken, and the condition of the home was consistent with that of an animal hoarder, police say.

Coxwell told WBTV the cats were not malnourished or abused.

"They were all healthy," he said. "There was nothing wrong with them. No diseases, no illnesses, no sickness in any way."

Coxwell voluntarily surrendered the cats, and was allowed to keep three as companion pets, although he can not take in any more.

He also admitted the number of cats had taken a toll on the house.

"They messed up all the carpets; we drug all the carpets out the house and now they mess up all the hardwood floors," he said.

But more than anything, Coxwell said the number of cats grew because he couldn't afford to get them all fixed.

"Well when the mama throws out eight of them at a time, I didn't have the money," he said.

Veterinary staff at Animal Care & Control performed health and temperament assessments on most of the animals, and say that unfortunately some will not be able to be adopted.

On Thursday, some of the cats will be sent to rescue groups or put up for adoption after their final assessments.

Animal Control officers are still investigating the case, and will continue to do random checks at Coxwell's home.

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