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Mich. cat lady gets probation for cruelty

April 22, 2010 at 1:02 PM

HAMTRAMCK, Mich., April 22 (UPI) -- A Michigan woman who harbored hundreds of cats through the years has been put on probation and banned from taking in any more animals, court records show.

A Wayne County Circuit Court judge Wednesday placed Mary Palamarchuk, 48, of Hamtramck on probation for two years. Authorities will show up at her home at random to make sure she is complying with the requirement she not keep any animals there, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

In addition, Palamarchuk is to pay $350 in supervision and court costs and undergo mental health evaluation.

"Our main concern in this case was protecting and preventing cruel treatment to animals by the defendant," the Free Press quoted county prosecutor Kym Worthy as saying. "We also want to protect the community from public health issues that could result from her behavior."

Palamarchuk's lawyer couldn't be reached for comment, the newspaper said.

Authorities had found Palamarchuk's cats spread an upper-respiratory illness that infected strays she took home during a 10-year span. Many were sick or dying when she turned them over to the Humane Society.

Palamarchuk denied being cruel or neglectful but pleaded no contest to an animal-cruelty charge. She said she wasn't an animal hoarder with "10 million cats in every room."

A Humane Society spokeswoman said Palamarchuk had found new homes for her cats and none were at her house when the group's investigators visited Jan. 28.

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