West Bloomfield couple face possible prison time after 178 cats removed from home

Jonathan, Jennifer Klein charged with abandonment/cruelty to 10 or more animals

One of the cats rescued from what is being called the largest animal hoarding case in Oakland County history.

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A West Bloomfield Township couple is facing possible prison time after 178 cats were removed from their home in the largest animal hoarding case in Oakland County history, according to officials.

Jonathan and Jennifer Klein were charged Thursday with abandonment/cruelty to 10 or more animals, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and up to 500 hours of community service, officials said.

Animal Control officials removed 178 cats from the couple's home in the 1700 block of Elsie Drive between April 24 and May 17. Authorities called it the largest animal hoarding case in Oakland County history.

On May 20, officials said 60 of the cats had been humanely euthanized because of severe illness or aggression. Many others suffered from health issues, including fleas, skin infections, ear mites, respiratory infections and malnutrition.

One of the cats rescued from an alleged hoarding situation in West Bloomfield Township. (WDIV)

One of the cats rescued from an alleged hoarding situation in West Bloomfield Township. (WDIV)

"This is the worst animal hoarding case I have seen in my entire career," Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center manager Bob Gatt said. "These cats were living in deplorable conditions. They were not provided with the adequate care necessary to maintain good health."

Some of the cats gave birth after arriving at the shelter, officials said.

Judge Diane D'Agostini set bond at $10,000, or 10%, for the Kleins. They aren't allowed to have contact with or own any animals during the court process.

"These charges represent a lot of outstanding work and commitment by Oakland County Animal Control Officer Rachel Whitlock and the rest of our Animal Control staff, along with our partners at the Michigan Humane Society," Gatt said. "They have given a voice to 178 cats who were living in deplorable conditions."

The Kleins posted $1,000 bail and were released.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for June 20.

Here is a previous report on the story:

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