Great Falls

Sep 28, 2011 2:02 AM by Erin Schermele (Great Falls)

Great Falls Animal Shelter still caring for "hoarded" cats

The Great Falls Animal Shelter still can't release the 95 cats that were taken from a woman's home recently, and is asking for help from the community while the cats remain in the facility.

Shelter staff say that they could use donations of disposable cups to use in maintaining the large number of litter boxes and trays.

The cats can't be put up for adoption yet because they are still considered to be evidence in the case of Sherry Bickel, the Great Falls woman who has received more than 150 citations for violating city code.

For more information about how you can help, call the Shelter at 454-2276.

(September 21, 2011) Sherry Bickel, charged in an animal hoarding case, appeared in a Great Falls courtroom on Wednesday.

She is facing a total of 154 citations for reportedly hoarding 95 cats and two dogs.

Bickel, 42, was cited for city code violations for failure to vaccinate, license, and register her animals.

Bickel was also charged with a misdemeanor of creating a public nuisance, due to the smell and environment of her residence.

She entered not guilty pleas to all charges.

City Attorney Jim Santoro noted of the case, "It was a complete team effort of law enforcement...it started with not one but two search warrants, it was conducted with, in concert with, working with animal control officers and the police department."

Bickel declined a jury for trial

Pending the trial, Bickel is not allowed to posses, harbor, or maintain any animals.

She is allowed to enter her home for belongings, but only with an arranged time determined by city officials.

Bonds from the citations and charge total more than $3,500.