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Man faces jail time for hoarding cats

A man is facing a misdemeanor charge and possible jail time for hoarding almost 70 cats in his Boulder City mobile home in 2019.

On Tuesday, March 30, Terry Chastain appeared in Boulder City Township Justice Court to be arraigned for a misdemeanor charge of overdriving, injuring, abandoning or starving animals. The charge stems from Aug. 23, 2019, when Boulder City Animal Control officers began rescuing cats from his home in a local mobile home park.

“The state has indicated it could be seeking jail time,” said Judge David Stephens at the hearing.

Boulder City Animal Control Supervisor Ann Inabnitt said she and other Animal Control officers had to wear hazmat suits and respirators because of the conditions inside the residence. She said the conditions at the trailer were a health hazard and the property was a loss.

Stephens appointed the public defender’s office to represent Chastain because he said he could not afford an attorney. He also set a status check hearing for 1 p.m. April 27 so negotiations between the state and Chastain could take place.

“I think they will try to find a resolution within that time,” he told Chastain.

Shannon Phenix, with the public defender’s office, and Barbara Schifalacqua, with the Clark County District Attorney’s office, agreed with those terms.

If he is convicted of a misdemeanor, Chastain faces a jail sentence of two days to six months and up to 120 hours of community service.

Inabnitt said her department has spent thousands of dollars taking care of these animals, including at least 20 hours of overtime to trap some of the cats.

“We had to trap at night because of the heat. … Cats can panic and struggle when trapped,” she said. “At times when the heat is excessive, this can result in their deaths so we trapped during the nighttime hours and checked the traps every hour or so.”

The 67 cats recovered from the property needed long-term care, and 13 of them are still housed at the shelter.

Initially, 43 cats were rescued Aug. 23, 2019. Inabnitt said she had to trap feral cats in that area for three weeks after that date, and 24 more cats were found.

Inabnitt said she had to rinse many of the cats’ eyes because they were affected by the high levels of ammonia in the trailer from the urine that was everywhere. Some were also covered in excrement.

According to the court docket, a summons was issued to Chastain on Oct. 2, 2019. He failed to show up for his initial arraignment Nov. 26, 2019, and Judge Victor Miller ordered a bench warrant for him.

He was arrested March 23, 2021, and taken to the Clark County Detention Center where he eventually posted bail.

Terry Chastain Criminal Complaint by Boulder City Review on Scribd

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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