NU woman pleads guilty to theft of cat

Admits to live-trapping cat at Oakwood Estates

NEW ULM — A 77-year-old New Ulm woman who admitted to live trapping a neighbor’s cat at Oakwood Estates, 2526 S. Bridge St. last fall signed a petition to plead guilty to misdemeanor theft in Brown County District Court Tuesday.

Arlene B. Stolte was mailed a citation by New Ulm Police for misdemeanor theft on Oct. 30, 2022, according to court documents.

“For months, cats that were running at large entered on my property, stalking birds that came to my bird feeders,” read Stolte’s plea petition.

“I set out live traps to try to stop the problem. On Oct. 28, 2022, I caught a cat. I had a friend take the cat outside the City of New Ulm, where it was released,” continued the petition. “I knew that this could have been a cat owned by one of my neighbors, and that it’s release outside the City of New Ulm may result in them being permanently deprived of that property.”

The Court will stay adjudication of the conviction upon conditions including no same or similar offenses in the next 12 months. Stolte will also pay a fine and restitution to the cat’s owners in amounts to be determined by the Court. Sentencing was set for 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.

Kathy Ganiere of New Ulm The Journal after learning the matter would go to court Tuesday. She explained the situation.

“Last October, my neighbor live trapped our family cat Luka. She admitted to my husband and child that she trapped him and that he is ‘no longer with us,'” messaged Ganiere. “We asked for as much information as possible. Her friend told her he dumped him alive on north highway 15 at the first gravel road. My family and I searched this gravel road for weeks with no sign of our pet.”

Ganiere described Luka as a “beautiful, long-haired, neutered, declawed, polydactyl cat adopted from BENCHS in Mankato two years ago.”

“He was in fact my anniversary present from my husband that year,” Ganiere wrote. She added that her children are traumatized by the loss of the cat and her seven-year-old daughter still struggles with it.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).


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