120 Cats Seized from Marion Area Couple’s Home

By Beacon Staff

A Marion area couple are expected to be charged with animal cruelty after authorities last month seized 120 cats that were living in squalid conditions.

Edwin and Cheryl Criswell relinquished control of the cats Dec. 17 after someone reported the couple were living in two camper trailers with the animals. Court records say the trailers were coated with feces, and officers had to use self-contained breathing equipment to enter.

The Flathead County Attorney’s Office filed initial paperwork Tuesday that indicates the couple will be charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Meanwhile, Sheriff Chuck Curry says he expects an arrest warrant to be issued in the coming days.

Mimi Beadles, executive director of the Flathead Spay and Neuter Task Force, says that only nine of the cats have nothing wrong with them. Most are suffering from ailments ranging from dehydration to respiratory infections.

Authorities say the Criswells told them they previously were convicted of animal cruelty in Idaho.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s office seized 400 sick and emaciated cats from them in September 2006, and the couple were placed on unsupervised probation and ordered to pay $1,000 in fines.