WAUKESHA COUNTY — Garrett and Tricia Rees, the Muskego couple accused of hoarding chinchillas have been sentenced to serve two years probation.
On Wednesday, January 27th, they pleaded no contest to a charge of child neglect and intentionally providing improper animal shelter (ventilation).
Officials say they found more than 300 chinchillas in their home.
The home was declared uninhabitable, and the couple’s seven-year-old child was removed from the home.
Garrett and Tricia Rees cannot possess any animals, except for the two cats they already own.
The chinchillas are being cared for by the Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) in Waukesha County. The animals were put up for adoption in May.
HAWS officials released the following statement to FOX6 News:
HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, has learned the outcome of the hoarding case involving more than 300 chinchillas.
A “no contest” plea has been entered during a hearing at the Waukesha County Courthouse today. According to the order by Judge Michael J. Aprahamian, Garrett and Tricia Rees are not allowed to possess the 49 chinchillas that remain in the care of HAWS at the Waukesha shelter. However, as the animals are still considered the property of Mr. and Mrs. Rees, they have the right to sell them and have been given 60 days to do so.
HAWS is waiting for clarification from the Waukesha District Attorney as to how long the 49 chinchillas will remain at the shelter. Unfortunately, HAWS will not be allowed to adopt them out.
HAWS has been acting as the holding facility in the hoarding case since more than 300 chinchillas were seized on March 29, 2015 from the Rees’ home in the city of Waukesha. Police and Fire Department authorities had been called to the home to check on a human resident of the home when several hundred chinchillas were discovered on the property. HAWS had been allowed to adopt out 270 of the chinchillas in May, 2015, while 49 of the animals remained at the shelter as part of the ongoing legal action.
“I’m happy with the fact that there are consequences for the Rees’ actions,” stated HAWS’ Executive Director Lynn Olenik. “But, I’m disappointed that HAWS will not be allowed to find these animals loving adopted homes.”