Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pottstown animal hoarder ordered to forfeit critters

By Carl Hessler Jr.

NORRISTOWN – Ending a 16-month legal battle regarding the custody of more than a dozen cats, a judge ordered a Pottstown woman to forfeit the animals she once was accused of trying to poison.

Linda Muchnick, 57, must forfeit the surviving 16 cats and one dog to the Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, county Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled Wednesday. The order essentially allows the SPCA, which has held the animals while the legal battle loomed, to put the animals up for adoption.

The judge made the ruling after hearing Muchnick’s impassioned plea for the return of the animals and a prosecutor’s argument against that return.

Muchnick vowed to appeal O’Neill’s ruling to the state Superior Court. Under the law, she has 30 days to do so.

“In my heart and my soul I feel I have lived an exemplary life for the animal kingdom. I’ve done the hard road to show my character for 16 months. I love my babies. I’m going to appeal this and do my best because that’s what I believe is the right thing to do,” Muchnick said during an interview after the civil hearing. “I love them, absolutely.”

Muchnick argued her “pet family” belongs to her. Muchnick claimed there is nobody else who has a greater love for the animals and that she would never harm the animals again..." More

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