Arleta couple charged with cruelty for hoarding 97 dogs

ARLETA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An Arleta woman and her boyfriend were charged Friday for hoarding 97 dogs in the woman's home, the city attorney's office announced.

Christianna Billman Hartwell Coppola, 39, and George Katcher, 39, were each charged with three counts of animal cruelty and three counts of animal neglect.

Animal Services officers responded to neighborhood complaints about the residence in June. Approaching officers reportedly smelled foul odors from 100 feet away from the residence.

Officers found animals allegedly stacked in cages throughout the house with large amounts of feces and urine, and inadequate food and water.

Officers took 9& dogs from the property. Some had life-threatening illnesses, including heartworm, open ulcers and sarcoptic mange. Many of the dogs had highly contagious diseases, including intestinal parasites and respiratory infections. None of them were euthanized. Once healthy, the dogs will be put up for adoption.

Coppola and Katcher were allegedly taking dogs out of other shelters and soliciting donations for their care, according to the Department of Animal Services.

If convicted, Coppola and Katcher could each face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines on each count.

This is the third animal cruelty case filed by L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer in the last few weeks.

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