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Wis. Woman Accused Of Stealing Cats Back From Humane Society

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Wisconsin woman is accused of taking matters into her own hands to be reunited with her beloved pets.

Police arrested Lee Ann Shore after they say she broke into the Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska, Wis. to get cats that were seized from her earlier this month.

Some of the kittens have been found, but employees are concerned about three that are still missing.

The thief broke in through a back window sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. In all, 15 cats and kittens were stolen from their crates, according to executive director Heather Hankins.

"It was pretty chaotic, there was a lot of things tipped over, a lot of crates just kind of tossed about," Hankins said.

She says some of the animals stolen had been seized from Shore's apartment in early May. That's when Hankins said her apartment was condemned.

"They took out 17 cats, and the reason being that the living conditions were not suitable for people or animals," Hankins said.

Others taken looked like Shore's previous pets and may have been mistaken for them. Hankins thinks she came back for her cats. Police arrested Shore for burglary, among other charges.

"I think that was her sole goal was to get her cats back because she does love them. There's no denying that she loves her animals," Hankins said.

The Humane Society received a tip the missing cats and kittens may be running around in an open field north of La Crosse. Animal Control and investigators spent the day rounding them up.

"We were grateful that those ones were found, there are still three that are out there that shouldn't be on their own," Hankins said.

Two suffer from respiratory infections that require antibiotics. Another was being watched for rabies after biting a police officer.

Some of Shore's animals had been adopted. Another two were to go to new homes this week. The district attorney's office said Shore will likely have a first court appearance on Wednesday.

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