Animal Cruelty and Mental Illness Make for Horrible Montgomery County Tale

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Posted on Tue, Aug. 25, 2009
Animal cruelty complaint filed against Montco woman
By Bonnie L. Cook
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

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A criminal animal-cruelty complaint has been lodged by police against a Montgomery County woman who was struggling to cope with the care of 29 pets and mounting financial problems.

The complaint filed yesterday accuses Linda Muchnick of one count of cruelty by killing an animal, and 28 counts of attempted animal cruelty by poisoning, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

Muchnick set out dishes of pet food mixed with blue DeCon rat poison pellets last week at her home on Bishopwood Blvd. East, in Harleysville, Towamencin Township, Ferman said.

There was water, but no other pet food in the house for 28 cats and one dog, said Carmen J. Ronio, executive director of the Montgomery County SPCA, which began an investigation of the incident Friday.

Muchnick, 56, was at the psychiatric emergency intake unit at Norristown State Hospital, officials said. A warrant was issued for her arrest Monday, but it was unclear when it would be served.

The animals corralled in two rooms had been denied food for several days before the poisoned food was set out, Ronio said.

"I'm saddened by the desperation of this woman . . . and I'm saddened by the fact that these animals had to be treated in this way," Ronio said.

"This is the first time in my 38 years [in shelter work] where people have been overwhelmed to the point where they would destroy their own animals."

Police went to the house Thursday after they received a call from Lower Salford authorities reporting that a local veterinary clinic had received a letter from Muchnick saying mounting financial problems made her realize "suicide was the only solution."

This story was so upsetting to me that I actually read it this morning and waited until now to post it. On the heels of Michael Vick coming to town, this was yet another tale of how sick human beings are. Of course, I think Michael Vick was sadistic towards dogs, and I love now how the media bent (thanks no doubt to Eagles PR machine) is switching their reporting to saying Michael Vick was convicted of dog fighting....well while technically true, that's not the whole darn "tail".

Of course the other thing is about Michael Vick is the racial slant. Well here's the 411 people: he's not the only sick person out there.

Read this story of these pets who were poisoned with RAT POISON by their owner. 30 of them. Do you know what rat poison does? It's horrid. Animals bleed out inside after ingesting it. It is a horribly cruel way to get rid of anything I think.

And this woman? She apparently witheld food a few of days on all these pets and then systematically poisoned them. Why? Because she had financial difficulties. I thought tales of dumping pets in plastic bags at animal shelters or just abandoning them in the street was bad...sick, sick, humans!!

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