Pawsitively Humane

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Micheline Toulouse Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Animal Cruelty


hoarder animal cruelty South Florida

A South Florida rescuer volunteer was sentenced today for cruelty to cats.  Michelline Toulouse of Fort Lauderdale volunteered at an animal nonprofit and in the community and turned hoarder. In  2021 police discovered 63 cats living in her abandoned home in Sunrise. Several found dead, one dismembered, a skull of a kitten was discovered and the rest emaciated and starving to death. Michelline abandoned them with no food or water.

The judge sentenced her to three years in prison with 10 years of mental health probation. She is never to have a pet again.   Michelline originally faced up to 60 years. This case took place in Broward County.  Click here for a full report

Fellow volunteers and residents who love pets, were relieved to see a judge enforce the law and sentence jail time and not simply give probation.  Compared to a very similar case last year in Miami Dade county where Cheryn Smilen only received one year in prison and was released at 9 months, this was progress.

It is for this reason, that some seasoned rescuers, ask to do home visit before adopting out pets and now the rescue community is working to gather addresses of volunteers and to make periodic visits to ensure hoarding is prevented.  

Along those lines, we encourage heavily engaged rescuers to take a break, disconnect completely to take care of oneself, emotionally, mentally and physically. Rescue work is taxiing and takes a toll on the human mind and spirit. 

If you ever smell strong odor of ammonia emanating from a house with many pets, please do not hesitate to notify police. Tell Police you would like to remain anonymous if you feel it's needed.

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