Hollister Police arrested a woman for animal cruelty after she refused to obtain treatment for a severely ailing pet that was in her care, according to authorities. 

About 2pm March 22, Hollister Animal Control officers responded to a call for a welfare check on a cat that had been taken to a local veterinary office, for treatment to injuries, Hollister Police said in a press release. According to the veterinary staff, the owner of the cat had failed to treat her animal for an infected abscess. The injury had caused “painful and preventable paralysis.”

Even though the cat’s owner, identified as Ritsuko Nakaya, knew the severity of the cat’s condition, she left the facility against the veterinarian’s medical advice, says the press release. 

Animal Control officers then responded to Nakaya’s residence and gave her a veterinary treatment notice to provide the animal with necessary care in order to avoid criminal enforcement measures, authorities said. The officers continued to follow up, and Nakaya allegedly became uncooperative throughout the course of the investigation. 

Animal Control officers immediately drafted a warrant to search the property, police said. 

About 4:45pm March 27, Hollister Police and Animal Control officers returned to Nakaya’s residence to search the property, authorities said. The officers located and took possession of the cat and rushed it to a local veterinarian for treatment. Nakaya was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. 

The cat was examined and x-rayed at the veterinarian’s office, police said. The results showed the animal had no function of its back legs, and would likely never be able to regain the use of these legs “even with extensive and aggressive treatment,” says the press release. The cat was humanely euthanized due to its poor prognosis and quality of life concerns. 

“Hollister Police Animal Care and Services would like to remind the public that it is unlawful for any person having charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, to subject any animal to needless suffering, inflict unnecessary cruelty upon an animal, or in any manner abuse an animal as it violates California PC 597(d),” says the press release. “A violation of this subdivision is punishable as a felony by imprisonment, or by a fine of not more than$20,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

Anyone with information about this investigation can contact Animal Control Officer Lacey Morris at 831.636.4320. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 800.78.CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


  1. A felony charge? Sounds like she couldn’t afford the cost of the vet quote. Many can’t. Which vet office is this?

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