Local News


Cat hoarder jailed on animal cruelty charges

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 21:30:58-04

Throughout the summer, contact 13 will be working with animal rescue groups across the valley to bring you stories of pets exposed to extreme heat. 

It's a dangerous and potentially deadly problem. 

And as Chief Investigator Darcy Spears reports, it's landed one woman in jail.

The pet overpopulation problem in Las Vegas becomes even more dangerous in the summer.

Feral cats can die from exposure. Others brought into shelters often have to be put down. Especially when they've been in a hoarding situation.

"The animals are definitely victims because, for one, the elements that they were under and the heat." Amy Clatterbuck of Street Dogz animal rescue is talking about the cats recently seized from 29-year-old Julie Frohlich.

Frohlich was arrested in Henderson earlier this week on multiple charges of animal cruelty. 

She originally reached out to Street Dogz, telling them she had three cats and needed help caring for them.

"I brought her about 20 pounds of cat food and 20 pounds of litter and within three days she said she needed more of both," said Amy.  "So I asked her how many cats she really had and she told me she'd rather not say."

That's when red flags went shooting up.

"Her roommate reached out to me and said there was a problem." 

Frohlich was staying with a man at the Siena Suites on Boulder Highway and Russell. 

By law, pet owners can keep up to three cats. Siena Suites allows two. Julie Frohlich had ten times that.

"Living in that environment with 20 cats in such a small area is not healthy for the cats or for the humans," said Amy.

Frohlich left Siena Suites when she learned Amy had called Animal Control.

When officers found Frohlich, she was laying in the grass near three shopping carts at the Russell Road Recreational Complex. 

She actually threatened to fight Animal Control officers if they took away her cats. 

She had eight adult cats and 14 kittens with no access to food, water, shade or shelter during an excessive heat warning.

The arrest report says Frohlich threatened and berated officers, escaped her handcuffs and repeatedly kicked the rear window of the squad car on the way to jail. 

She faces multiple charges for depriving animals of food, shelter, shade and medical care, as well as violating Henderson's mandatory spay/neuter law, having too many animals and allowing them to run at large.  
"It's a mental health issue," said Amy, "So she can't just be slapped on the wrist and get some jail time."

Especially because this isn't Frohlich's first offense. 

Contact 13 discovered there's a warrant out for her arrest in Clark County for animal welfare violations there in 2014.

Julie Frohlich has pleaded not guilty to all the charges in Henderson.  

She's scheduled for trial in August.

As for the cats and kittens, they're currently being held by the City of Henderson where they'll remain until the case is resolved.

The city hopes to eventually adopt them out.