EDITORS NOTE: I’m told that the Everett Herald also did a story written by Diana Hefley that lays out a lot of the court documents and psychologist’s assessment which were basically what I gathered new my interactions with her. I am also told that it was a well written, compassionate story, too.
Kathryn St Claire who made headlines when her cats were killed by order of Shannon DeRosa (AKA Shannon Johnson, or Shannon DelGado) at the Everett Animal Shelter has been arrested in Oregon with 42 cats in her car.
Before you shake your head or point any fingers please consider this: She has lived through the knowledge that her cats were driven to the Everett Animal Shelter and they were all killed in the trailer while mother cats watched their kittens killed as they simply just stacked up the bodies.
The cats had nowhere to go, no escape, they watched as each one was murdered and could do nothing to save themselves or eachother.
So how does anyone get 111 cats, or why does someone get 111 cats? Well a good deal of them were dumped on her, there is no disputing that.
The problem only got worse when she didn’t get them fixed. One cat can have up to 4 litters a year, and they did.
I interviewed her and even befriended her, hearing her talk about the nightmares she had every night about the death of her cats was heartbreaking, for her and the cats.
At one point she told me that they had missed 3 cats and she went back and got them. I offered to help her get those one fixed but I didn’t hear from her after then, until I did.
She said she had become homeless and had nowhere to go, I let her stay here with the understanding that the cats needed to be kept in our back shed (which is larger then most tiny houses) because I was no longer taking allergy shots and I am deadly allergic to cats.
After a couple of days it was apparent she needed to get some grief and trauma counseling. She had an upcoming court date and I was trying to get her to find someone to adopt the cats or foster them because if she was sent to jail I couldn’t watch them.
Sadly one day for some reason I went back there and there were not 3 cats back there, there was 5 times more then that. I immediately got a few rescue friends together and we were trying to find placement for these cats.
I told her she could not keep those cats here, and that she had no business having that many cats anyway. Even worse I discovered that those 3 cats were the parents of all of the ones in my shed.
She was letting them breed at will with each other knowing that they all would eventually get FILV as they were positive for it.
The last straw came as I went out there and discovered there was yet another litter of kittens on the ground. As we all scrambled to get placement for these cats she ended up leaving the state.
She had also missed some type of a court date and said she was going to have a warrant the day she left so I wasn’t real interested in her staying here anyway.
My understanding is that she had a job as a farm hand and a couple did in fact come up here and pick her and the cats up. That didn’t work out and she went through several more places.
So when she left here she had 13 to 16 cats plus 5 kittens. When she was picked up in Oregon it turns out she had 42. My belief is that they are also all inbred from those same 3 original cats.
I am an animal rescuer, but I also love people.
I have been so torn over this entire matter because on one hand she is so traumatized over the death of the others that I don’t see how she could be having any thought process that makes sense, but those cats can not speak for themselves.
I could never pinpoint where exactly she was at and the few times I spoke to her, she never would tell me. She also never told me that her cats had also more than doubled in numbers.
Worse yet, she always fed those cats before herself so any money she may have gotten would’ve most certainly went to them first so I was worried about her starving to death herself.
The problem was that she never belonged in jail, she didn’t then, and she doesn’t now. She needs mental health help and treatment.
She is not intentionally abusive, and she does take care of the cats as best as she can, but it’s not enough. She created a page explaining what happened to the cats with tons of pictures and the cats all looked healthy to me.
The problem is that no one needs or can care for that many animals and meet their needs.
She is also so lost in her grief that she doesn’t even seem to realize that she is hurting these cats, cats who never should’ve even been born.
Immediately once I heard the news and got the details, I was devastated and I blamed myself but my daughter in law made a good point: She is trying desperately to replace the family that was taken from her and murdered and she probably would’ve gotten other cats and done the same thing.
Most of you would view these as simply pets, but many people (myself included) consider these animals family members, and some think of them like children.
Imagine if your children had all been killed except for one or two and you couldn’t do anything to stop it. That was the pain she was enduring
This may seem like an ordinary animal abuse case, or even a simple case of hoarding but it is so much more than that. It is the perfect example of legal abuse syndrome.
These are the type of people and circumstances that Mark Roe’s prosecutors go after.
Someone who is so emotionally devastated that they can not defend themselves and then you add pieces of garbage like Jason Schwarz who is supposed to be defending her throwing her under the bus so he can win political favors to become a judge pro tem to “fix” cases and get further up the food chain.
He’s trying to make a name for himself as a mental health advocate but make no mistake he cares about nothing except himself.
After seeing his work at the city of Everett Municipal Court in the Ryggs case it’s obvious he’s just another layer of the rotten onion.
I have no idea what will happen to Kathryn, she needs help, not punishment.
I doubt she’ll get it here or in Oregon as both are simply penal states with no intentions at rehabilitation or support services.
The good news is that the shelter they are at hasn’t murdered the cats, yet.
There was one cat found dead in the car most likely from the FILV, the problem with cats and the reason (besides allergies) I don’t rescue them is because they can seem fine one minute and be dead in an hour, add to the fact that it is unknown how many cats have escaped her car as she was staying at a state park.
I just hope and pray she makes it through this, but most of all I hope that someday our mental health services fall in line with the need.
Most of all we need to get rid of the arrogant politicians, lawyers, prosecutors, and public pretenders who are abusing people to this point.