|Updated: 7/13/2012 5:48 pm
||Published: 7/13/2012 5:41 pm
A woman arrested for apparently hoarding nearly 30 animals in her home.
Cherie Waggie, 55 of Turley was arrested after she went to the animal shelter to find her 22 cats and seven dogs on Thursday.
"We would do anything. The animals ate whether we did or not. They were cared for. Rain sleet snow whatever,” said Waggie’s mother Billie Waggie.
However, Animal Welfare said all but four of the dogs were able to be saved because of their health.
Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies recovered the dogs from the Waggie’s home near East 63rd Street North and Peoria. Deputies said when Waggie and her mother Billie, were evicted from their home from foreclosure they returned and found their animals were gone.
Deputies say they were called to the home on an abandonment call because no one was living at the home.
Deputies said the cats were manged and some had eye infections, others had respiratory problems.
Deputies said this is an extensive investigation, one that is a classic case of animal hoarding. Deputies said while animal hoarders believe they are helping animals they are hurting them.
"They weren't out on the street getting run over. We did take care of them,” said Waggie.
Research shows the typical animal hoarder is in denial.
"They were our family. They weren't just animals they were our family,” said Waggie.
Bilie Waggie said she has been rescuing animals for more than two decades.
"They were small dogs. They were cute and adorable,” said Waggie. "I loved them. I cuddled with them."
Since the daughter was arrested for animal cruelty deputies rescued three more dogs down the street from a home that Cherie Waggie owned.
The dogs were Maltese, Shepherd mix, Chow, Lap/Pit Bull mix and strays.
Deputies said some of the cats were seriously neglected.
"We didn't hurt them. They were all healthy except for the older ones,” said Waggie.
However, Animal Control for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said the 29 animals were the victims.
Outside of the home was a strong odor of cat urine. Investigators said inside the home was covered in feces.
"A lie. We hadn't cleaned up for the last three days because we had been ill,” said Waggie.
Deputies said the feces had been in the home for at least a year.
Mrs. Waggie told FOX23 News she is not an animal hoarder.
"We cared. They became our family and we did try to find homes for them, if we could,” said Waggie.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund reports animal hoarding remains the number one cause for animal cruelty among companion animals.
Tulsa County deputies plan to recommend treatment for Cherie and Billie Waggie.
Animal hoarding is known as an obsessive compulsive disorder. It can cause health concerns not only for animals but for caretakers too.
Jail records show Cherie Waggie faces 29 counts of animal cruelty and burglary. Deputies said Waggie went back into the house after they had been evicted.
Waggie is being held on $121,000 bond.