Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Police find rabbit hoarder with bunnies - again

By Staff

TIGARD, Ore. - Here we go again.

A woman court-ordered to stay away from animals was found Tuesday in a Tigard extended-stay hotel with rabbits, authorities said.

It was just the latest problem for 47-year-old Miriam Sakewitz, who has served jail time in the past over a sometimes bizarre case of animal abuse and hoarding.

Back in 2006, police found nearly 250 rabbits at her Hillsboro home, 88 of which were dead and in freezers. After the animals were confiscated, she broke into a police facility and took back more than 140 of them.

She was eventually convicted of animal neglect and tampering with physical evidence, among other charges. She received probation and was ordered to refrain from owning any domestic animals. But in 2007, she served three days in jail for violating her probation when she was discovered raising rabbits again.

In 2008, police found a dog and rabbit in her garage when they went to her home to check a report she was suicidal, another violation of her probation. The outcome of that case was not immediately clear.

In the latest incident, Tigard police said an employee of Homestead Suites at 13009 S.W. 68th Parkway called police about 3 p.m. Tuesday after a maintenance worker discovered caged rabbits in a room. Police had to forcibly enter the room, and, once inside, found Sakewitz there along with several cages, a small kennel housing rabbits and other rabbits roaming the room, police said.

Washington County Animal Services confiscated eight adult and five baby rabbits from the room. A dead baby rabbit was also found there, police said.

Sakewitz was taken into custody on a parole violation detainer and lodged in the Washington County Jail. Under the terms of her probation, she continues to be prohibited from owning animals..." More