Animal cruelty case: Humane Society finds 78 cats in Waterloo home

Animal cruelty case: Humane Society finds 78 cats in Waterloo home


BARTH IS LIVE WITH TONIGHT’S BIG
STORY. REPORTER: THIS ISN’T THE FIRST
TIME 53-YEAR-OLD ATHENA NIELSEN
HAS BEEN CITED FOR HOUSING
ANIMALS IN DEPLORABLE
CONDITIONS, BUT THE HUMANE
SOCIETY HOPES IT’S THE LAST, AFTER AT LEAST 30 OF THOSE CATS
DIDN’T MAKE IT. THIS HOUSE WAS HOME TO NEARLY 80
CATS JUST ONE WEEK AGO. THE NEBRASKA HUMANE SOCIETY SAYS
ABOUT 40 SURVIVED.>>TERRIBLE LIVING CONDITIONS,
SO WE WERE ABLE TO IMPOUND THE
LIVE CATS, ISSUE CITATIONS TO
THE OWNER OF THAT ADDRESS. WE’LL BE PURSUING CHARGES IN
DOUGLAS COUNTY COURT. REPORTER: COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW
53-YEAR-OLD ATHENA NIELSEN OWNS
THE HOME. RECORDS SHOW SHE HAD A RUN-IN
WITH THE HUMANE SOCIETY THREE
YEARS AGO. OFFICERS REMOVED 21 CATS AND
THREE DOGS IN 2015. A SMALL CHILD WAS FOUND LIVING
IN THE FILTHY CONDITIONS, AS
WELL. HUMANE OFFICERS DEALT WITH
NIELSON AGAIN EARLIER THIS MONTH
AT THIS APARTMENT NEAR 144TH AND

‘Q’ IN OMAHA. RECORDS SHOW SHE WAS ASKED TO
MOVE OUT. NHS SAID, “THE ODOR OF
URINE/AMMONIA WAS STRONG AND
NOTICABLE SEVERAL FEET FROM
THE RESIDENCE. DAYS LATER, THEY WERE CALLED TO
NIELSON’S HOME IN WATERLOO
AGAIN, THEN FOUND THOSE 78 CATS. NEIGHBORS SAY NO ONE HAS LIVED
IN THIS HOUSE SINCE 2015 WHEN
NIELSEN WAS FIRST CITED. THEY ALSO SAY NO ONE’S CLEANED
UP THE PROPERTY, BUT A COUPLE OF
WEEKS AGO NEIGHBORS NOTICED
PEOPLE CARRYING TOTES INSIDE
THIS HOUSE. THEN A FEW DAYS LATER, THEY
FOUND CATS. THEY NOTICED SOME IN THE WINDOWS
AND OTHERS IN THE YARD, MEOWING
AND STARVING. THAT’S WHEN NEIGHBORS CALLED THE
HUMANE SOCIETY. THE HUMANE SOCIERT SAYS IT FOUND
THIS KITTEN MEOWING IN A CLOSED
RUBBERMAID. HE WAS THE ONLY SURVIVOR OF
SEVERAL KITTENS IN THE TOTE.>>IT ROSE TO THE LEVEL OF A
POSSIBLE FELONY PROSECUTION IN
OUR EYES. REPORTER: WE COULD NOT REACH
ATHENA NIELSEN FOR COMMENT
TODAY. SHE TOLD POLICE SHE’S LIVING AT
HER MOTHER’S HOME IN WATERLOO. OFFICIALS RECEIVED A WARRANT TO
SEARCH THAT HOME AS WELL,
FINDING THREE DOGS, TWO CATS AND
A TURTLE, AFTER NIELSEN TOLD
THEM THERE WERE NO ANIMALS
INSIDE. SO FAR, SHE’S RECEIVED ONLY
CITATIONS. REPORTING LIVE, TAYLOR BARTH,
KETV NEWSWAT

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