Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Animal Rescuer Gets Jail For Hoarding Cats In A U-Haul

By Ben Yakas

There's a thin line between being a cat rescuer and a cat hoarder: a Brooklyn man who ran a nonprofit animal rescue group, and claimed he was a cat rescuer, was sentenced to 60 days in jail for hoarding cats. Steven Hock was arrested for animal cruelty for housing 69 cats in a parked U-Haul van without air, food or water two years ago. "He is what the mental health community considers a hoarder but he considers himself a rescuer," said Brooklyn Deputy District Attorney Carol Moran

Hock, who ran nonprofit Kitty Shockwave, was convicted of 69 counts of confining an animal without food or water, eight counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, and eight counts of carrying an animal in a cruel manner. In addition to the jail time, he'll serve three years of probation with psychological counseling, and is not permitted to own or harbor any animals for the next three years..." More

Animal cruelty ‘not neglect’

By Thomas Tracy

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A man convicted of keeping 69 cats in cages in the back of a U-Haul truck tried to claw his way out from under the guilty verdict last week by claiming his actions weren’t as bad as animal cruelty laws suggest.

Defense attorney Donald Yannella admitted that Steve Hock did indeed keep the cats in a locked U-Haul found at the corner of 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue back on Oct. 12, 2008, but did not “neglect to supply the animals with a sufficient supply of good and wholesome air, food, shelter and water,” as outlined in the criminal statute.

All he did was “impound or confine” the cats, which is also outlined in the charge.

Hock claims that the animals may have been locked in the back of a truck, but he did keep tabs on them and made sure they were fed.

Since there is no evidence that he had starved the cats, the entire animal cruelty charge against him should be rendered moot and the conviction vacated, Yannella claimed.

But Judge John Wilson didn’t see it that way.

In his March 31 decision, Wilson let the charge stand, claiming Hock was splitting hairs.

“It is inconceivable that the legislature intended that a person could provide an animal with three out of four of these necessities and not be guilty of the underlying crime,” he wrote.

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