Woman accused of animal abuse claims her 40 cats are trained for therapy
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KRCG) - The Jefferson City Animal Shelter continues to care for 40 cats and a dog rescued from a home last week.
"I'm going to turn a negative into a positive," said Carolyn Goyda, the owner of the animals who bonded out of Cole County jail Monday.
Police arrested Goyda on June 23 after they served a search warrant at her home on Ashley street. Prosecutors have charged her with animal abuse.
Goyda said she is going to fight the allegation and work to get her cats back. She does not believe she had too many cats.
"Not for what we were doing. If I was just an individual just laying there eating Bon Bons, maybe," said Goyda.
She claims she was training cats for therapy. Goyda said,"this is going to show these animals can help the PTSD soldiers, they can help the autistic kids and help people with autism because they were reaching the people working at my house and they're going to reach more people."
But Jefferson City ordinances allow the ownership of only six animals in one home, so they were taken from her.
Officials said the 40 cats ranging in all different ages and sizes are being nursed back to health and the white German Shepherd mix dog is in good condition.
Police Cpt. Eric Wilde said the animals are not yet up for adoption because they still legally belong to Goyda.
"She can come back here and lay claim to those animals. But like I said, she can't legally possess as many as she had within the city limits of Jefferson city. So she'd have to find different living arrangements for the ones she wants to keep," said Wilde.
The animal shelter will bill Goyda for boarding her cats while she fights to get them back.
"I really do believe cats can reach these kids. They really can. And I want the chance to show this," said Goyda.
Goyda is scheduled to be arraigned in Cole County Court on July 29.