Ypsilanti woman with history of hoarding pleads guilty to animal cruelty

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

Suzanne Marie Thompson, of Ypsilanti, faces a repeated felony charge of neglect for 25 animals after HSHV cruelty investigators removed 21 cats and 1 dog from Thompson’s home in November. Many of the animals were severely emaciated or in need of medical attention, according to a release.

Officials said that animals have 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 of probation after her residence was condemned over sanitation issues.

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

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

“The recidivism rate is extremely high; the individuals remain sick, more animals suffer, and shelters face overcrowding and challenges helping sick and traumatized animals. No one wins when animal cruelty is taken lightly. We’re so grateful to donors who help us take care of these special needs animals, adopters willing to give them a good home, and all those who step up and speak out for animals and people.”

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 make a report online.

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

Those in the humane society’s service area can receive help by calling 734-662-5585.

Learn more about HSHV resources here.


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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.