Ten live cats, two dead cats seized from Gainesville home


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Yesterday Alachua County Animal Resources & Care served a warrant at the home of Patricia Garibaldi and seized 10 live cats and two dead cats; they estimate that as many as five cats may still be in the residence.

Judge Phillip Pena signed the warrant after an Alachua County Animal Enforcement Officer presented evidence that the cats were living in unsanitary conditions and were not being cared for properly at the home in the 1100 block of NE 3rd Street.

The incident began with complaints from citizens, and an Animal Enforcement Officer reportedly communicated with Garibaldi in an attempt to offer resources and educate her about the proper care of animals.

During site visits, Animal Enforcement Officers noted that a “potent” smell of ammonia from animal urine was coming from the home and from Garibaldi’s clothes. Although Garibaldi reportedly would not let officers inside the house, they reported that what they could see was “unclean.” Garibaldi reportedly indicated at one point that at least 14 cats were inside the house.

During a site visit on November 23, 2022, Garibaldi reportedly brought 11 cats outside in a kennel but would not let the officer enter her house. The officer reportedly saw fleas, hair loss, and eye discharge on the animals and fleas, feces, urine, and roaches on the kennel. The officer noted that she had concerns about whether the cats were being humanely treated.

On December 6, two Animal Enforcement Officers, a Gainesville Police Department officer, and a veterinarian met with Garibaldi at her home. Garibaldi reportedly let only the veterinarian inside the home, with the condition that she not touch any animals or take any photographs. The veterinarian’s report listed a strong ammonia smell, only a small pathway for walking, food and bowls covered in roaches, the presence of fleas, the floor covered in feces and urine, and other concerns. The veterinarian’s report concluded, “The cats are at risk for serious complications such as infection and death.”

Also on December 6, Gainesville Fire Rescue performed air monitoring, although they had to stay within three feet of the front door. The report said there was an “overwhelming smell of ammonia,” and the ammonia concentration measured 10 ppm. The report noted that if concentrations were higher in other parts of the house, there were “concerns on potential health hazards.”

On January 23, an Animal Enforcement Officer served Garibaldi with a written order for veterinary examination of the animals, but Garibaldi reportedly said she would not consent to inspection of the animals and would not allow the animals to leave her property.

Garibaldi has previously been cited for not providing humane treatment or care of animals and was subject to an Order to Provide Care in 2018 concerning a dog and at least 16 cats in her custody, living in unsanitary conditions. That ended in a settlement, which has since expired.

County Spokesman Mark Sexton said Animal Resources is still trying to trap the remaining cats, which are believed to be feral, and they are applying for legal custody of the cats so they can provide veterinary care.

  • So much trouble for cats. Wish the county would put the same effort into getting rid of the homeless.

    • You are not helpless and voiceless you cruel, nasty man. You can do something about whatever you wish. These poor animals are helpless and voiceless and it’s up to decent people (obviously not you) to protect them. You sir, are an arse.

    • This wasn’t just about the cats, but for the woman as well. She presents as a classic hoarder, animals included, and her health is at risk- both mentally and physically. Have some compassion.

  • Now for the rest of the story. Please read Marcy LaHart’s (Attorney). letter to the County Commission.

  • I so much love the consistency of the AC BOCC. They are proud to run a No Kill animal shelter, because kitties and puppies are so warm and fuzzy and the county needs to spend lots of money to feed Hills Science Diet to unadoptable pit bulls. Meanwhile, the AC BOCC wants to spend $5.5 million tax dollars to build a slaughterhouse in Newberry because, you know, that No Kill philosophy has a few exceptions and loopholes in it.

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