More cats found when animal abuser finally arrested

More cats found when animal abuser finally arrested »Play Video
The Kern County woman accused of animal cruelty has finally been arrested. A bail bondsman tracked Anita Gilbert to the Los Angeles area, and 20 cats were found in a motel room she rented in Oxnard.

Gilbert was arrested Thursday night in Reseda near a friend's house. Bail bondsman Bob Herman said he and his investigators had staked out the area, and saw Gilbert drive up in a black BMW.

Investigator Silvio Suarez said as they approached her, Gilbert took off running and yelling. "That she had cancer, which is a lie. That she has heart problems, which is a lie. She's a pathological liar," said Suarez.

Herman said Gilbert said she had cats in a motel room where she had been staying in Oxnard. The bondsman and investigators went to that motel where they found a room in a complete mess, with 20 cats left in it.

Oxnard Code Compliance officer Dirk Voss says his officers removed the cats, and they've been taken to the Ventura County Animal Shelter. Voss said six of the cats were kittens, and the animals seemed to be in "OK" condition. They also found one dead cat in the motel room.

The bondsman thinks Gilbert had spent most of the summer in Fillmore, where she rented an apartment under a different name. Herman says a neighbor in the building had complained about a bad smell.

Apartment managers tried to check on Gilbert's welfare, and that may be when she moved on. But, she left a mess in that apartment.

"Deplorable conditions, just sick," said Suarez. The investigator says he's been in places Gilbert has lived.

"She knows exactly what she's doing," said Suarez. "She placed tape at the bottom of the door and spread Arm and Hammer baking soda to cover the stench."

In July, Gilbert was arrested in Kern County after officers found more than 50 cats and dogs in deplorable conditions at her home near Tehachapi.

Gilbert posted bail on the animal cruelty charges, but more charges were later added after authorities said she had threatened a deputy public defender.

An arrest warrant was put out for Gilbert then, and she skipped bail on those charges.

Gilbert had stayed in hiding, and told various officials she was in a hospital being treated for cancer.

Herman says Gilbert told the apartment managers in Fillmore that she was suffering from cancer. He believes she rented the apartment in July using the name of a woman who died working in Iraq.

The bail bondsman had already been tracking the name "Anita Gilbert" and discovered she was using the Florida driver's license of a woman from West Palm Beach who died of cancer in 2007.

Herman thinks "Gilbert" could have used up to 20 aliases. "Somebody needs to prosecute her for identity theft and all the other things that I've discovered that I'm reasonable sure she has done," said Herman.

Gilbert was in custody at the Los Angeles County Century Regional Detention Facility as of Friday night. A Los Angeles county spokesman said it's now up to Kern County to arrange for her transfer back to Bakersfield.

Herman says Gilbert was a tough case to track down. He called her a professional evader. But, it's the animal cruelty allegations that bother him the most.

The bondsman calls Gilbert a hoarder. "The seriousness and the illness of the conditions in which these people live and the things that they do. It's just horrendous, so it needs to be taken care of."