|Who, age||What||Where||When||Last Known Address|
|Krystal Renea Allen, 52||hoarding - 200+ cats & other animals(3)||
|October 6, 2004|
|Krystal Martin, 42||hoarding - 50+ animals discovered during a home fire(2)||
|July 8, 1994|
|Krystal Martin, 38||hoarding - animals found living in unsanitary conditions(1)||
|Type of Crime||Other Crimes||#/Type of animal(s) involved||Case Status||Next Court Date|
(2) 5 aquariums full of fish and 47 animals: 26 birds, 8 cats, 5 dogs, 3 chickens, 2 ferrets, 2 chinchillas and 1 guinea pig
(3) 200+ cats, 2 dogs, 13 birds, 3 chickens
1994 case information: More than 50 animals including chickens, chinchillas, ferrets and fish were rescued from an East Anchorage residence after it caught fire. No one was home when a shed next to the house near Patterson Street caught fire.
Neighbors called the fire department, and by the time crews arrived the blaze had spread, working its way up a back wall and onto the roof of the home.
Crews extinguished the blaze, and then began pulling the animals out of the home.
By the time firefighters were done, they had 5 aquariums full of fish and 47 animals: 26 birds, 8 cats, 5 dogs, 3 chickens, 2 ferrets, 2 chinchillas and 1 guinea pig.
The animals were taken to the city's animal shelter. No animals appeared to have died.
A lone cat remained at the home peeking out a front window as fire investigator Bob Taylor sifted through the remains in the back yard.
An assortment of charred goods were strewn about the yard, including clothes, a swing set, a car and a camper.
Taylor said he had not determined what caused the blaze and hadn't been able to locate exactly where it started.
The fire was contained mostly to the back yard, doing only surface damage to the roof and back of the home, he said.
Neighbors said Krystal Martin lives at the home with her two children. She apparently had left earlier in the day and wasn't home when the fire started, Taylor said.
2004 case information: Anchorage authorities cited a woman found living in filth with up to 200 cats and other animals on charges she kept the critters in an unhealthy situation and didn't have the proper license to have so many in her home.
The city, declared the South Anchorage house unfit to live in, also ordered the woman to clean up the home or face the prospect of losing it.
Animal Care and Control issued the citations to Krystal Allen , who owns the home off 88th Avenue near Lake Otis Parkway.
Veterinarian Myra Wilson, who manages the city's animal shelter, said Allen did not provide proper care and sanitation for the animals and also didn't have the license required for having four or more cats in the home. Her possible fines total $400.
Anchorage police were called to the home after neighbors complained to police about the smell that spread through the neighborhood. Officers discovered the animals, which included cats, three dogs and at least six caged birds, living in a house covered in animal waste, the sharp stench evident from the street.
The woman told police that she took in strays and people gave her animals and it got out of control.
Police officer Jackie Valdez said that the woman gave away some of the cats after she was given three days to comply with animal sanitation requirements. Valdez said she tried to get the woman to surrender some of the animals earlier, but she insisted on trying to find them homes.
Valdez confirmed that 7 had been given away. The woman, who has taken responsibility for all the animals, said she gave away another 29, but Valdez could not get information from her about where they went.
"There's an appearance of being concerned about them and trying to get them" to a home, Valdez said. But a health official noted just 15 to 20 cats remaining in the house and Valdez said she was concerned about the rest. The birds also are gone and authorities have gained no explanation for that either.
If any animals are still at the home, they will be taken by Animal Care and Control and their health evaluated, Wilson said. They could be sent to a rescue facility, put up for adoption or euthanized.
One kitten taken from the home had possible upper respiratory disease and its eyes sealed shut from mucus and was euthanized, she said. Two dogs picked up from the home appeared to be healthy.
A medical officer with the city's Department of Health and Human Services visited the house and decided it was still unfit for human habitation, said department director Beverly Wooley. The floors were covered with fecal matter and bird droppings, which can carry disease, and it's questionable whether the toilets can even be flushed, she said.
That determination led Ron Thompson, director of development services, to order Allen to clean up the home. The health department will check on the cleanup, Wooley said.
The Allen, at 2825 North Circle has been ordered to vacate. Allen has 30 days to either clean up or make an appeal to the city before the house is torn down.
George Sikat, who lives across the street from the woman, said the conditions revealed by police were far worse than he expected. He said the smell was not reported out of spite but because it "got to the point it smelled like death."
Police said they have not found any dead animals in the home.
Sikat said that neighbors offered to help the woman and that it shouldn't have come to this point. The city has resources to help people. "I hope the situation can somehow be positive" in the end, he said.
Neighbors thought something was wrong with the septic system, saying they've been smelling it for years. The stench coming from a house on North Circle prompted a nearby resident to call the police to find out what was wrong. "I opened the door. I was really shocked. There were just cats everywhere," said Officer Jackie Valdez (left), who was first on the scene. "At first, my estimate was at least 100."
(Photo of Allen courtesy of Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-DT) "You never want to hear about something this bad, where somebody's losing their home and possibly all the animals that they may not be able to find homes for," said Browning.
At the very least, residents hope the air quality on their street improves. Neighbors wouldn't go on camera, but one said that at one point, the driveway was lined with at least 90 bags of garbage, which they eventually moved to their garage. One woman says mice were everywhere around the property.
Officer Valdez said she had spoken with the owner, who says she's trying to find places for all the cats, and will likely let Animal Control come in to start clearing out the house -- something that could take awhile, according to Animal Control.
In 1994, Allen's home burned in a fire. Firefighters found dozens of animals and their filth cluttered inside. According to court records, Allen, whose last name at the time was Martin, was charged and convicted of cruelty towards children and animals.
Four years earlier, records show she was convicted of the very same charges when a police officer found her two boys, ages 4 and 7, and more animals living in unsanitary conditions.
(Photo's courtesy of the Anchorage Police Department)
Update 10/11/04: Anchorage police and animal control officers have found a second house where cats and birds were being stashed.
Police say it appears that Allen took 15 cats and kittens, and 16 birds, to a second house where an elderly woman lives.
Allen reluctantly acknowledged the animals were hers and has voluntarily surrendered them to animal control.
She has told police that she took in strays but that the situation had gotten out of hand. She has denied there were 200 cats in her house, but police say they counted well over 100 last week and found evidence of many more.
Neighbors' complaints about the stench coming from the house led police to Allen's home, where they found dozens and dozens of cats, plus a few dogs and birds, in a house riddled with animal waste.
Anchorage police officer Jackie Valdez said that when she and animal control officers first inspected the house, they counted more than 100, saw additional animals beyond that, and saw evidence cats were living elsewhere in the house.
Update 10/12/04: Allen has had other problems involving animals in the past, city records obtained show.
Allen used to go by the last name Martin and at one time lived in a two-story house at 2010 Paxson Drive in Chester Valley, according to police spokeswoman Anita Shell and municipal building safety records.
In 1989, Allen was cited for storing junk in her yard. It was not clear from the building safety records if Allen owned the Paxson Drive home. Much of the city correspondence is addressed to her and a woman identified as her mother.
In 1990, a police officer was called to the home for a report of two boys under the age of 10 being left home alone. The officer, Don Krohn, wrote in his report that when he got to the house, he noticed "a very overpowering odor of cat urine and droppings." "The odor was so strong it was burning my nose," Krohn wrote in his report. Inside, there was so much clutter "it was almost impossible to walk about the house," Krohn wrote.
Allen -- Martin back then -- was charged with child abuse, said Shell. It is not known how the case turned out.
In July 1994, the Paxson Drive home caught fire. The blaze started in a shed in the yard while no one was home, according to press accounts from the time. Firefighters pulled five aquariums full of fish, 26 birds, eight cats, five dogs, three chickens, two ferrets, two chinchillas and one guinea pig from the home.
An official wrote at the time, "Inspection is difficult due to poor housekeeping, debris and decaying matter."
The house's roof was damaged in the blaze but the structure still stood. The yard -- which before the fire was filled with heaps of trash, including a discarded toilet, an old sink, a washing machine, tires and milk crates -- now also had charred piles of wood and insulation. There was also a fleet of abandoned cars and trucks on the lot: a white one, a blue one, red, gray.
It took more than two years for the city to get approval to demolish the Paxson Drive home. At one point, 10 neighbors sent a signed letter to then-Mayor Rick Mystrom pleading for him to help expedite things.
In February 1996, the city approved the demolition. It put a lien on the property and, when the lot sold, was reimbursed the $15,172.31 it spent on the demolition, records show.
Update 12/13/04: PETA sent an urgent plea to Assistant Municipal Prosecutor Nick Spiropoulos, urging him to appropriately prosecute Krystal Allen of South Anchorage. Allen faces charges of cruelty to animals stemming from authorities reported October 6 discovery of more than 200 neglected cats, three dogs, and at least six birds, all deprived of substantial food or clean water and languishing amid their own waste at her residence. News sources describe algae growing in bathtubs, unflushed toilets, and rotting food throughout the dwelling. "The odor was so strong it was burning my nose," one officer wrote in his report. According to news sources, Allen's prior home had been repeatedly found in a similar condition. She is scheduled to face these most recent charges in court tomorrow, December 14.
Because Allen may be an "animal hoarder" someone who obsessively accumulates animals' PETA is requesting that, if convicted, she be prohibited from owning or harboring animals in the future and required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by counseling.
"Allen appears to be either unable or unwilling to provide the most basic care to animals," says PETA Cruelty Caseworker Daniel Paden. "Experts agree that dementia and other mental-health disorders may be at play in many hoarding cases and that upon conviction, only carefully considered sentencing and probationary conditions can preclude the otherwise inevitable recurrence of these crimes."
Update 4/25/06: Today the public learns the fate of a woman who pleaded no contest to animal cruelty. In October of 2004, animal control officers found an estimated 100 cats, 13 birds, 3 chickens, and 2 dogs inside 52-year-old Krystal Allen's home on North Circle Drive.
Cats removed from the home were malnourished, infested with parasites, and infected with upper respiratory infections
Though initial charges were harsher, a district court Judge ordered Allen to serve 30 days in jail, perform 80 hours of community service, and to pay a one thousand dollar fine suspended.
The judge also banned her from owning animals for ten years.
"I think it's very obvious that she is not able to care for them in the manner that they deserved to be care for. She's not able to provide a sanitary environment. That was the most important from an Animal Control perspective," said Dr. Myra Wilson, Manager, Anchorage Animal Care and Control.
Allen was also ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and her home will be subject to inspections by Animal Control Officers.
Update 4/26/06: Animal Control says 19 of the cats have been euthanized because of health and behavior problems. Meanwhile, the group Last Chance Rescue is taking care of dozens of Allen's animals.
One worker says 80 percent of them are in good health. The worker also says Allen has donated $500 to help Last Chance Rescue buy things like vaccines and food.
Krystal Allen was sentenced to 30 days in jail, city authorities said.
Allen, pleaded no contest in December to two counts of animal cruelty. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail. District Court Judge John Lohff also ordered Allen to pay a $1,000 fine and do 80 hours of community service.
She was placed on probation for 10 years, ordered not to own animals for that period and ordered to open her home to inspections by animal control officers.
Animal control officers in October 2004 discovered an estimated 100 cats, 13 birds, 3 chickens and 2 dogs inside Allen's home on North Circle Drive. Feces, urine and garbage covered the floors. Cats removed from Allen's home were malnourished and suffered from parasites and upper respiratory infections, officials said.
Update 10/06/09: Allen's sister, Deborah Ann Allen, has been charged with misdemeanor animal hoarding where 73 cats, 8 dogs, 1 cockatoo and 2 lizards were seized from her home and her animal shelter.
Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police Department