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Hollister Police Department
Thursday March 30th, 2023 :: 03:56 p.m. PDT


Hollister Police Animal Care and Services Arrest one Adult for Felony Animal Cruelty Charges

HOLLISTER, CALIFORNIA – March 30, 2023– On March 22, 2023, at about  2 p.m., Animal Control Officers were dispatched to a call regarding a welfare check of a cat that had been taken to a local veterinary office due to its injuries. According to veterinary staff, the owner, identified as Ritsuko Nakaya, had failed to treat her animal for an infected abscess, causing painful and preventable paralysis. Despite knowing the severity of her cat’s condition, Nakaya left the facility against the professional medical advice of the veterinarian.
Animal Control Officers immediately responded to Nakaya’s residence and issued her a veterinary treatment notice to provide the animal necessary care to avoid criminal enforcement actions. Animal Control Officers followed up with Nakaya, who became uncooperative throughout the remainder of their investigation. Animal Control Officers immediately drafted a warrant to search the property.  
On March 27, 2023, at about 4: 45 p.m., Animal Control Officers, along with the Hollister Police Department, served the search warrant at Nakaya’s residence.  Animal Control Officers located and took possession of the animal and rushed it to a local veterinary office for treatment.  Nakaya was arrested for felony animal cruelty. 
The cat was examined and x-rayed.  The examination results revealed the cat had no function of its back legs, and it was unlikely for the animal to regain the function of its back legs even with extensive and aggressive treatment.  The cat was humanely euthanized due to its poor prognosis and quality of life concerns.
Hollister Police Animal Care and Services would like to remind the public that it is unlawful for any person having charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, to subject any animal to needless suffering, inflict unnecessary cruelty upon an animal, or in any manner abuse an animal as it violates California PC 597(d).  A violation of this subdivision is punishable as a felony by imprisonment, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is requested to contact Animal Control Officer Lacey Morris at 831-636-4320. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.
Prepared by: Alyssa Bautista, AC Supervisor                                              
Approved by:  Rosie Betanio, Captain

Hollister Police Department
395 Apollo Way
Hollister, CA 95023

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 831-636-4330

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