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Live animals taken from accused hoarder

ElgAnimal Control Officers James Rog (left) Matt Ciesielczyk load three captured cats Sept. 26 William Tinkler's home. The cats found

Elgin Animal Control Officers James Rog (left) and Matt Ciesielczyk load three captured cats Sept. 26 at William Tinkler's home. The cats found alive were to be evaluated by a veterinarian, officials said. | Janelle Walker~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:21AM

ELGIN — A judge on Thursday ordered that the four live cats owned by accused Elgin cat-hoarder William Tinkler be forfeited to the state, presumably to be put up for adoption.

And a prosecutor filed a motion asking that Tinkler’s bond be revoked or increased, apparently because he has not cooperated with police officers trying to catch any other animals living in or around his east-side home.

Tinkler was scheduled to appear in Elgin Branch Court on Thursday afternoon for a hearing on a motion by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office to have the live pets confiscated. But when the case was called, Assistant State’s Attorney Kelley Flinn told Judge Kathryn Karayannis that she had been notified by Tinkler’s lawyer that he could not attend the hearing, and Tinkler did not show up. So Karayannis issued a default judgment, meaning that because the defendant had not appeared to defend against the request, the live animals would be seized.

The four live cats — reportedly all spayed females in good health — actually have been in custody of the Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg since Elgin police raided Tinkler’s home in the 200 block of Villa Street on Sept. 26.

Told by a city work crew that the home stank and that a van parked in its driveway seemed to contain dozens of dead animals, police on that day charged Tinkler with four counts of cruelty to animals, a Class A misdemeanor; four counts of violation of an animal owner’s duties, a Class B misdemeanor; and one count of violating the Dead Animal Disposal Act, a Class C misdemeanor.

Tinkler has been free since the arrest on $150 bond on the charges.

During a hearing last week, Judge Karayannis authorized Elgin officers to go onto the Villa Street property and set traps to seize any more live domestic animals. She also made it a condition of Tinkler’s continuing bail bond that he should not interfere with those trapping attempts.

Appearing in court Thursday, Flinn did not explicitly state that Tinkler had interfered with the trapping. But she asked the judge to revoke or increase his bail because “I believe there was a violation of the condition that was approved last time.”

When he was questioned on Sept. 26, Tinkler reportedly told police that he had 12 live cats, which would imply that eight remain unaccounted-for.

A hearing on the misdemeanor charges is set for Nov. 2 in Elgin Branch Court. The judge said she also will rule that day on the request to revoke or increase Tinkler’s bond.

Police said they finally determined that the van’s grisly collection of dead, decaying carcasses included 27 cats plus 16 animals from other species, which included birds, squirrels, opossums, a muskrat and possibly a ferret.

Flinn asked the judge on Thursday also to declare that ownership of the dead animals be turned over to the state. But the judge said she would have to research the law before ruling on that motion.

Police did not ask for necropsies (animal autopsies) to determine what killed the dead animals, saying such procedures would be very expensive and not needed to prove the criminal charges.

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