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South Bend woman accused of hoarding close to 30 cats

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A member of a local animal rescue group is being accused of animal hoarding, after the county animal control seized close to 30 cats in a raid on May 3.

Neighbors near Linda Geyer said they’re shocked to find out the woman they know to be an animal rescuer, may be an animal hoarder.  

“I could see two or three cats, but 27 cats that’s a lot of cats,” one neighbor said.

People on Monroe Street on South Bend’s west side said Geyer is a “nice lady,” who has been doing animal rescue in the city as far back as 1997. However, authorities said Geyer who is a member of a rescue organization, Pet Refuge, was “inadequately caring for an overwhelming number of cats for the organization.”

Read the full search warrant below:


In pictures, obtained by ABC 57 from the county animal control, overflowing litterboxes, cat feces inside of a kitchen sink, and a sinking second floor are just some of the things investigators uncovered from the raid.

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

ONLY ON ABC57 / SJC Animal Control  

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“I never knew what was going on behind closed doors like the sun goes down we don’t really know what’s going on,” the neighbor said.

According to the office of the city of South Bend, 27 cats were removed from the home. All of them were examined by the Pet Refuge ABC Clinic and one was recommended for euthanasia.

One cat was taken by Animal Care Control and the remaining were returned to Pet Refuge for placement.

 “Anybody in rescue looks at this situation and it’s sad,” said Patty Cope, who works at Heartland Small Animal Rescue.

Cope said it’s not sad because Pet Refuge did anything wrong, it is sad because the animal rescue community knows how cases like this happen.

“People showing up at doorsteps, ‘Here, help this kitty or help this dog,’” she said. “The animals eyes are matted shut, or their covered in fleas, or emaciated.”

She said any animal rescuer with heart, drive, and passion isn’t going to say no to a request to take an  animal in need. Cope said rescue organizations have steps in place to make sure pet fosters don’t get overwhelmed, but said they need the community’s help too.

 “We need more fosters,” she said. “We provide everything for you all you’re doing is providing a place for that animal to be safe when we have more stepping up to help with those things there are volunteers who don’t get put in those situations.”

For more information on how to foster a pet or questions about pet care, click here.

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