In 2003, Boston authorities removed dozens of dead cats and several more who were near death from Heidi Erickson’s home, along with a Great Dane so emaciated he was unable to walk. One month later, 50 sick cats and a dozen dead ones were removed from another of her apartments. All of the living cats were diseased and ultimately euthanized. The self-described “Harvard educated, third-generation Persian breeder” was found guilty of six charges of animal cruelty, and the judge barred her from ever again living with cats in the city.
In 2009, Erickson resurfaced in Plymouth, and authorities concerned about possible animal neglect removed 11 severely neglected cats and the Great Dane from her home and charged her with nine counts of animal cruelty. Three dead cats were found in her freezer. Animal hoarders, like Erickson, are frequently responsible for causing dozens and even hundreds of animals to suffer for years, and they exhibit recidivism rates near 100%.