LA CROSSE (AP) – A 46-year-old woman faces burglary and damage charges for allegedly breaking into an Onalaska animal shelter to steal back her cats.
Lee Ann Shore is accused of smashing a window May 25 at the Coulee Region Humane Society and taking 15 cats, including eight that animal control officers had seized from her La Crosse apartment, according to the La Crosse Tribune.
Humane Society officials suspected Shore because she left behind a teal jacket they had seen her wearing.
Law enforcement tracked her down after a sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of a woman wandering near a Kwik Trip in Holmen. She provided a false name but backup officers recognized her, according to criminal charges filed Friday.
In her purse, police found shards of glass matching the broken windows of the shelter.
Shore declined to talk with police or tell them where the missing cats were, but she asked to retrieve a number from her cellphone. An investigator later traced the number to a no-kill animal shelter, where the owner said she had received an anonymous call about kittens in a field behind a Kwik Trip in Holmen.
Authorities eventually rounded up 12 of the cats in nearby woods.
Humane Society director Heather Hankins said two adult cats and one kitten remain at large but the recovered animals are doing well.
Shore was charged Friday with felony burglary as well as damage to property, misdemeanor theft, bail jumping and obstructing police, which are misdemeanors. No defense attorney is listed in Shore’s online court records.