The city of Glendale will venture into the unfamiliar world of cat trading in an effort to recoup its costs for caring for 26 Persians seized last July from a filthy Glendale home, a city attorney said.
Glendale took official possession of the expensive cats when Glendale cat breeder Alexander Paul Alexander and his wife, Georgia, failed to meet Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for paying the $8,200 in veterinary and boarding costs accrued since the cats were impounded, Glendale Assistant City Atty. Scott Howard said.
Acting for the city, the Glendale Humane Society will sell the nine remaining cats.
Some of the 26 cats seized in July died of malnutrition and parasitic infections while others were returned to owners who were boarding them with the Alexanders.
The exact value of the cats, thought to be as much as $5,000 each, is not certain.
"We don't know where we're going to open the bidding," said Humane Society manager Donna Navarro. "What we want to do is cover our bills."
In November, the Alexanders had been ordered by the Glendale Municipal Court to reimburse the city this month for the veterinary and boarding bills, Howard said.
At that time, the Alexanders pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges.
The court sentenced Alexander Alexander to 14 days in jail, fined the couple $475 each and placed them on probation for three years, during which they are prohibited from possessing any animal.
Had the couple met the deadline for payment, they would have been able to choose a friend or relative to care for the animals, Howard said.
The animal cruelty charges stemmed from a January, 1987, seizure of 42 Persian cats, Howard said. Those cats were turned over to another party.
No new charges were filed against the couple after the July seizure that Howard said was "the worst case of animal neglect I've seen since I've been here."
About 16 cats were discovered caged inside a dimly lit room hidden behind a wall of the Alexanders' Sleepy Hollow Drive home, Howard said. The rest were found in cages stacked inside the Alexanders' kitchen.
"Cat waste matter was piled up in the cages, the food appeared to be old and a few of the water containers were dry," Howard said. "A majority of them had some sort of virus or parasite. . . . There were a couple of deceased cats."
Navarro of the Humane Society said the cats are now healthy. People interested in buying the felines can call the Glendale Humane Society at (818) 242-1128.