COLUMBIA — The criminal case against a woman who kept more than 30 cats in a Columbia motel room won't go forward until the fate of the animals is resolved.
A municipal court judge granted a continuance in the case against Susan Kohler, so she and her attorney could decide if they would petition to have the cats moved. They are being kept at the Central Missouri Humane Society through a contract with Columbia/Boone County Animal Control.
Animal Control has yet to receive a request for a hearing to move the cats, Animal Control Supervisor Molly Aust said.
In mid-June, 32 cats — four of them dead — were discovered in a room being rented by Susan Kohler. Charges against her include:
- Failing to provide a clean and sanitary habitat
- Not vaccinating domestic pets
- Animal abuse, unlawful impoundment and confinement
- Violating limitations on the allowable number of animals in one space
Kohler attorney Steve Wilson said Tuesday they had not yet determined if he and his client would file a petition to regain custody immediately or file a request to put the animals into another holding facility. Wilson said if they were going to choose one of those options, they would file the petition within one to two weeks.
Because it is illegal to keep that many animals together in Columbia, Wilson said they wanted to see if there was a location for Kohler to keep the cats outside city limits. Such a location would have to be deemed appropriate by Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Wilson was not present in court Tuesday, but attorney Mike Hamilton of Murray Law Firm represented her. Hamilton said he could not comment on the case.
Kohler is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24.