Warrant Of Seizure Issued Against Fort Smith Woman With Approximately 200 Cats

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A warrant of seizure has been issued against a Fort Smith woman on Friday (July 18) with approximately 200 cats, according to a news release for JoAnn Barton with the Sebastian County Humane Society.

Suzanne Lafontaine was booked into the Sebastian County Detention Center and is facing a animal cruelty charge.

“There were 203 that were removed alive, probably four that we found in the house that were deceased and then another 15 in the freezers,” Sebastian County Humane Society supervisor Bekah Trotter said.

Barton said that cruelty investigators, as well as, animal control personnel went to a Fort Smith home, and they found that 90% of the woman’s cats were sick, one was dead and some kittens were near death, the release states.

Residents of the city and vets had been taking the animals to the woman without knowing what kind of conditions the cats would be living in, according to the release.

Lafontaine’s bond is set at $10,000. Her next court date is July 22.



  • Kelly Newberry

    If any animals do recover, please call Ms. Connie Shoyer c/o S.O.S. Animal Shelter located in Miami, OK @ (918)919-9720. She accepts cats and maintains a no kill sanctuary while finding suitable homes. She’s affiliated with petfinder.org as well. Thank you.

  • Tina

    I sure wish Benton County would do something about animal hoarders. Nobody seems to care about my neighbor’s cats that keep dying of disease and a dog that died because of neglect. Our kids can’t even play outside because of the fleas from all her animals and the sick and diseased cats.

  • Moe

    I recognize this address, we gave them some kittens a few years ago…had no idea she was a hoarder.

  • pamela j. Lunsford

    I rescue cats when they need to be..I also understand being overwhelmed..I really feel like she was trying to help the situation. There are many more stray and Ferrell cats as there are dogs.. even if she’s trying to do something to help she should have known some were dead. I only have 14 but they are all healthy and get flea and tick treatment.. they are all in shelter. I love all of them and I have much sympathy for those attempting to help the situation. They multiply as much as rabbits and its the most expensive thing that needs to be first priority..prayers out for her and all the fur babies..very sad deal here.

  • Dave

    I know her well. She took in only sick cats. She spent a lot of money on their meds and wanted to give them a place to live out their natural lives. She knew all of them by name, and was unable to turn down the vets and other organizations that so often relied upon her kind heart. I believe she does need psychiatric help, but shame on them for continuing to give her cats they knew could not be adopted. Imho, its enabing a sickness and that needs to be looked into as well.

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