This is the official declaration FLOCK volunteer Denise made to the Nye County D.A. about her experiences while volunteering for FLOCK:
February 6, 2010
Declaration of Denise Davis, For the Love of Cats and Kittens (F.L.O.C.K.) Volunteer
I, DENISE DAVIS, hereby swear under penalty of perjury that the assertions in this declaration are true.
I was a resident of Pahrump, Nevada in Nye County from March 2006 to July 2008.
I have volunteered with cat rescues for over 6 years and am well acquainted with cat behavior and cat care.
I was a volunteer for F.L.O.C.K. from mid January 2007 until March 17, 2007; and then again from May 31, 2007 until July 25, 2007. I was never a member of F.L.O.C.K.
I was introduced to F.L.O.C.K. by Denise Scherer, the president of Spay Our Strays, also located in Pahrump, Nevada. I did not know at that time that she was a board member of F.L.O.C.K. under Sherri Allen.
My first visit to the F.L.O.C.K. sanctuary was in the second week of January 2007. At this time I met Sharon “Sherri” Allen, Mike Marsischkly and Tim (last name unknown). Denise Scherer and my daughter Michelle Davis were also present at this visit.
At this meeting I told Ms. Allen that I could help the F.L.O.C.K. sanctuary cats go to adoptions at PetSmart store located at 1321 W Craig Road, N Las Vegas, NV 89032. I had just finished volunteering with A New Leash On Life Pet Adoption, that was no longer going to adopt out cats at that location, so the store had an opening for a new group to do adoptions at this store.
Also at the meeting Ms. Allen proudly stated that they had now reached a population of 1000 cats at the F.L.O.C.K. site. She also told us of the dry food change she made and how good the food was. The food she mentioned was not a quality food at all but mostly consisted of corn which is not healthy for cats.
On that first day when we met it was very windy and my tour of the sanctuary consisted of going into one of the cabins where there were a few cats resting on blankets that covered the shelves. I did notice that all the cat bowls were made out of plastic and not stainless steel, plastic bowls harbor bacteria growth, unhealthy for cats.
In the next day or two, Michelle and I returned to the sanctuary to walk around and look at the cats. As I stepped out of the office door I noticed a cat lying on his side. Tim said, “Is he dead yet?” I touched him with my foot and I said “yes”. Tim said something about checking on him and he wasn’t dead the last time he looked at him.
Walking around the yard I immediately noticed the following: very thin cats, cats with runny noses, cats with crusty stuff on their noses, light amber crusty stuff in their ears, goopy eyes, cats with very dirty ears an indication of ear mites, cats with wounds, cats sneezing, cats missing fur, and cats wanting attention.
From a distance one might not notice that the cats were sick, however, when you approached closely it was evident they were in very bad condition. (photo 1)
I asked Tim about the very thin cats and he said that that was just the way they were. They eat and eat and still remain thin.
I was alarmed by the condition of the cats and after I left, I called Tim and asked him if I could pick up a few cats to foster at my home to improve their health. He said yes.
Friday, January 12, 2007 Michelle and I arrived late in the afternoon and Tim and his son Josh, who also worked there, were off the property shopping. Another employee, Jessie, was there with instructions from Tim to give me 4 or 5 cats.
We found Jessie very upset holding a small, thin, wet cat with wounds on her face. He said he had not seen her before and didn’t know what to do. I said I would take care of her and put her in a carrier. We named her Bantam. We then went into the hospital cabin where he gave me three other cats.
As we were driving away from the sanctuary I called Ms. Allen to tell her I was taking these cats to my home to care for them. She was hostile towards me, and discouraged me from taking cats. After I told her I had a large bath room for them and I didn’t have certain cats she brought up, she said ok. I did feel like she just didn’t want me to help them.
When we arrived home, each cat was put into a large kennel in our master bathroom. I gave Bantam a bath and cleaned up his wounds. I took photos and videos of all the cats. All the cats had diarrhea, were thin and had upper respiratory infection. We named them, Bantam, Gizmo, Isaac and Newton.
The weather the following two days was freezing and there were power outages. I knew the sanctuary was without power and the cats must be suffering. I called Ms. Allen on Monday and asked how the cats survived the week end. She said they only lost two. Later I was told by Jessie that there were many carts full of dead cats.
I asked PetSmart if F.L.O.C.K. in Pahrump could do adoptions in their store and in a week or so they got back to me and said yes.
Friday, January 26, 2007 I returned to the F.L.O.C.K. site to pick up four cats (Logan, Sunset, Elizabeth, and Roosevelt) that were chosen to go to adoptions. The cats were in cat carriers. Tim and Mike Marsischkly’s wife Elisha went through a box of records pulling out rabies certificates and spay/neuter certificates for the four cats. They did this by trying to match the description of the cat to a file. Example: They looked in a file marked black and white cats to find Roosevelt’s records. At this time these cats did not have names only descriptions. In reality, it is likely that there were no records for most of the cats since the population was so much greater in number that the records. There was no microchip information in the records. F.L.O.C.K. advertised that their cats all had microchips. I have photo copies of the records of all the cats I took to PetSmart.
I delivered the four cats to the Petsmart on January 26, 2007.
On Monday, January 29, 2007 I was called by the PetSmart manager to pick up the cat named Logan because he was ill and had diarrhea. I brought Logan to my home to care for him.
On Wednesday, January 31, 2007 while I was showing someone Sunset I realized that Sunset had jaw and mouth sensitivity and ear mites. I took Sunset and his records back to the F.L.O.C.K. site and put him in the laundry room. I brought PetSmart dry food for Tim to feed Sunset and transition back to the type of food the F.L.O.C.K. cats ate. This was never done. Sunset needed to have a vet check his teeth and gums before he could go back to adoptions. He never went back to adoptions. I found him at the sanctuary May 31, 2007 still wearing the color with his name on it.
On Friday, February 2, 2007 I was again called by the PetSmart manager to pick up the cat named Elizabeth because of an upper respiratory infection. I took Elizabeth home to care for her. There was now only one healthy cat at PetSmart, Roosevelt .
On Friday, February 9, 2007 Ms. Allen had me come to her business office to pick up a cat for adoption. She had many cats and dogs in her office. I noticed fecal matter on her that she said was from the two little kittens who were sitting near her. They were special needs kittens. The dogs looked old and were on the floor not moving. The cats were in a small room that seemed like a walk in pantry. She told me to pick out a cat. I picked out a cat I named Hancock.
On Saturday, February 10, 2007 I went to the F.L.O.C.K. site and was given one cat for adoptions, Chopin. I took Hancock and Chopin to PetSmart. On the hour and a half drive from Pahrump to Las Vegas, I could hear Chopin sneezing. He was sneezing blood and I returned him to the F.L.O.C.K. site.
Tim and Josh began to open up and talked about Ms. Allen. They did not like her and were happiest when she was not around. They were afraid of her. Tim and Josh told us they were glad we were helping the cats.
Tim would take care of any medical needs the cats had. In the hospital he would inject Pen-G, an over the counter antibiotic to sick cats. There were some eye ointments and a few other medications. There was Ivomectrin an injection medication for ear mites and mange that only Ms. Allen was allowed to give. I never heard of her using it.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 Cheryl, Michelle and I went to the F.L.O.C.K. site Alicia was there and told us that she would be picking out which cats went to adoptions. She showed us the first cat she picked out. I picked her up, she was not too friendly and her fur was so matted that it was pulling on her skin and she had balls of poop stuck to her fur. I took a pair of scissors and began to cut away the mats and poop. We named her Maddy. Cheryl started bring her camera on our visits and there are photos of Maddy. She also had ear mites. She was not ready for adoptions. (We found Maddy at the F.L.O.C.K. property on May 31, 2007, she was very sick and died that day.)
It was clear to me that I needed to clarify what a healthy adoptable PetSmart cat looked like. I put together a form for Tim and Alisha to use. I called it “On my way to PetSmart”. I emailed a copy to Ms. Allen and she replied that she liked it. I told her that I thought the cats for adoptions should be separated from other cats for two weeks and kept in a large kennel while we checked for diarrhea and any other health problems. The laundry room could be set up for adoptable cats.
Saturday, February 17, 2007 I took another F.L.O.C.K. cat to PetSmart. I named him Lincoln.
Sunday, February 18, 2007 Cheryl, Michelle and I went to the F.L.O.C.K. site to do PetSmart cat laundry and I was told that I couldn’t have the laundry back until I returned all the F.L.O.C.K. cats I had at my home. This was upsetting. The cats were on the road to good health and returning them would mean they would never get healthy. On our visits we started bring baby wipes to wipe the cat’s runny/crusty noses and eyes. This day Cheryl found a cat so sick that its eyes and nose were sealed shut with blood. Tim took the cat away. There was another cat that was dying that Tim let us take home and we gave her love until she passed.
Before I returned the F.L.O.C.K. cats that were being cared for at my home, I wanted to make sure each cat had a record of what they were eating and any medications they were taking. I had the cats on quality dry and wet food.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 I was preparing to return the cats when I received a call from Tim telling me he would come by and get the cats. He lied over the phone about his whereabouts. He was at Ms. Allen’s, and not at the F.L.O.C.K. site like he said. I could tell by caller ID. His communication was very weird. I knew Ms. Allen was telling them what to do.
Tim and Josh arrived in minutes and we gave the cats to them in cat carriers. I was crying and asked Tim, “Why is she doing this?” He said he didn’t know. I also gave them the body of the cat that passed. All the cats were so close to being well and then would be able to go to adoptions.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 Jessie showed up at our home. He had been fired by Ms. Allen a few days earlier for commenting on the dogs she had kenneled up in her back yard. I had given him my address knowing he was about to be homeless. I let Jessie live in our 30 foot RV which was in our back yard. He told us that Ms. Allen had his Social Security card and was not giving it back.
Thursday, February 22, 2007 once again the PetSmart manager called asking me to come get Lincoln who had a runny nose. I brought Lincoln home to care for. A few days later the manager called again and said there was a family who in interested in Lincoln and when was he coming back. I called the family and told them Lincoln’s situation.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 Cheryl, Jessie, Michelle and I met at Denise Scherer’s home for a meeting of “Spay Neuter All Pets & Strays” (S.N.A.P.S.). Denise was just in the process of forming this group. Cheryl and I decided we wanted to talk to Denise about how Ms. Allen was running the F.L.O.C.K. Sanctuary and that we believed her to be a hoarder. Cheryl came prepared with information on hoarding. She printed out what every major animal society had to say about hoarding. I brought photos of Bantam and many other cats that were not looking good. Jessie came with us to offer his first hand stories of the cats at the F.L.O.C.K. site.
When we brought up the subject of Ms. Allen showing signs of a hoarder Denise Scherer would not hear any of it and told Jessie not to open his mouth. She did look at my photos and took one of them. Cheryl and I told Denise that many of the cats were sick and we were concerned about their welfare. Knowing that Denise Scherer was adamant about ridding a cat of ear mites, I thought maybe we could arrange a day to clean cat ears and medicate them for ear mites. During the meeting Denise called Ms. Allen asking her questions.
Later on Ms, Allen accused me of talking behind her back. Our relationship was getting weird. I found it very hard to talk to her. She was defiantly exhibiting all the signs of a hoarder.
Saturday, March 3, 2007 I took Lincoln to the Banfield Pet Hospital within the PetSmart store to have him looked at. A potential adopter and her son met me there. Together we met with the vet while he looked at Lincoln. He was given some Clavamox and needed a follow up visit the following Saturday. They adopted Lincoln and in a weeks time he was healthy. I personally paid for both visits to Banfield Pet Hospital knowing that if Lincoln went back to F.L.O.C.K. he would never get adopted nor would he get well.
Sunday, March 4, 2007 Michelle and went to the F.L.O.C.K. site, but no one was at the property. Looking through the fence we saw a cat with a large bloody wound on the side of his face. Soon after Tim and Josh drove up in their pick up truck and began unloading cats that were in traps and in carriers. We saw Logan in one of the carriers. There was blood from him sneezing all over the inside of the kennel. I was thinking that he was taken out to adoptions again at a different location and had to come back because he was sick. We never saw Logan again.
We told Tim about the cat with the wound and he said he would look for him. Tim said we could not come onto the property because they were having a visitor at 1:00 PM, so we left.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007 I called Ms. Allen about making arrangements to pick up cats for the upcoming weekend. She told me that Mike Marsischkly’s wife Alisha would pick them up this weekend.
That same day, Cheryl and I went to the F.L.O.C.K. site. As we approached we could hear Alisha screaming, it didn’t sound good. We could see her standing at the door of the hospital cabin. As we walked into the laundry room we were greeted by Josh who told us we could not go out into the yard because “kittens were being born”. We sensed that something really horrible was going on in the hospital.
As we looked around the laundry room we could not help but notice the cat named Sampson was lying on the floor. Josh had stepped over him a few times. We had watched Samson become sick over the past weeks (we have a progression of photos) and now he was so sick he could not move. We took a few photos while Josh was out of the room. His eyes, nose and mouth were covered with wet and dry mucus. Cheryl became very upset and confronted Josh with how they could just let him lay there. I asked Josh if I could take him and he replied quietly, “take him.”
We scooped up Samson and put him in a kennel in my van and immediately gave him some wet food. We took photos and have this on video. Samson was very sick with Calicivirus. I took him home and nursed him back to good health. Samson lived with me and eventually made it to Best Friends adoptions
Thursday, March 15, 2007, Michelle, Cheryl and I went to the F.L.O.C.K. site to do PetSmart laundry and visit with the cats. As soon as we entered the laundry room I started loading a washer. Tim came in, saw us, then went into the office and called Ms. Allen, which is what he did every time we ever showed up. He said Ms. Allen said we could not stay there while we did the laundry and he would do the laundry for us. While he was out of the room Michelle saw Isaac, one of the cats we fostered, and picked him up. He was just skin and bones, so thin, Michelle quickly took him out to our van. She said we should just go now. I then unloaded the washer and Michelle then began to feed two other cats that we had fostered, Bantam and Gizmo, wet food on top of the dryer. They were gobbling it up, they were very hungry.
Tim came back in and began yelling at Michelle. He looked like he was on drugs, scary looking. She told him that these cats are use to eating wet food three times a day. Bantam had mouth issues and was still so thin and Gizmo had no teeth. They were not completely healthy when they took them from us and did not look any better. Tim went on to say that the cats don’t need wet food and that it causes them to have diarrhea. I could tell that trying to talk to Tim would get us nowhere, he was way off the deep end. Michelle kept feeding the cats. Cheryl changed the one water bowl that was in the room, a plastic kids bowl that was full of dirty, yellowish water.
Tim began to accuse us of doing something to the cats. He said that cats have been dying. One day a cat in the laundry room would look fine and the next it would be dead. He said he found a black cat with a red collar that he had never seen before, dead in the laundry room and was wondering how they were getting in. The black cat was Elizabeth, one of our fosters. We put collars on all the cats we fostered and wrote their name on it.
We left and did not return to the F.L.O.C.K. property again until May 31, 2007.
When we left F.L.O.C.K. on March 15, 2007 we went straight to the Nye County Animal Shelter. We had Debbie Wormaldlook look at Isaac and she called animal control supervisor Debbie Pemberton in to look at him. Debbie Pemberton asked if I could take the cat to the vet for a complete exam and if he tested negative for all diseases and in fact was only starving she might be able to do something.
We took Isaac to our vet, Dr. Jenny Mountain in Las Vegas. Isaac spent three nights and four days connected to an IV receiving fluids. Isaac tested negative for disease and indeed was determined to be starving by the vet. I told Dr. Mountain that Isaac might be court case so check everything. I paid over $700 for his care.
Debbie Pemberton told me a week later that there was nothing she could do for the cats. They had food, water and shelter and there was no law that said they needed to have cats seen by a vet.
On April 6, 2007 Michelle and I drove to PetSmart in Las Vegas to speak to F.L.O.C.K. board member Janet Differ at the weekend adoptions. We told her about the horrible things that were going on at the sanctuary. We spent over an hour at the store telling her how bad things were and offering some suggestions. We told her to go look for herself and she said she was busy with her taxes and maybe could go look in about two weeks. It was obviously not a priority for her.
To us the situation was critical. A very large group of cats were suffering and had no real care. We told everyone who would listen and somewhere along the way the founder Renee’, who had been very ill got word.
Sherri Allen continued to adopt cats at Petsmart. She expanded to three stores and added dogs to the name. For the love of cats and K9’s. I believe she would adopt out new cats that had not lived in the sanctuary. These cats would not have all the sickness the sanctuary cats had.
My next visit to the F.L.O.C.K. sanctuary was on May 31, 2007. Renee, the founder had taken back the F.L.O.C.K. sanctuary from Sherri Allen and appointed a new president, Maggie Ward. Denise Schere called me and asked if I would help with the cats. I said of course.
It looked like the cats had not eaten or had enough water for some time. They were so very thin and sick. Many of the cats could not move. Sandy, who was hired to help, was there the day before I was. She said the bowls of food had mold, cats were lift in the hospital with no food and there were many dead cats. She worked late into the night cleaning and feeding.
I have a blog on Best Friends Network which chronicles day by day everything we saw and did. Conditions were much worse than when we were last there in March. I called Tim McCarty at Nye County Animal Control and on June 5, 2007 he came to the site and I walked him through the sanctuary.
My friend Cheryl Runyon, my daughter Michelle Davis and I were caring for the cats every night from May 31st until Best Friends had replacements for us, July 25, 2007. Fifty one nights caring for the kitties. We were kicked off the property five days before Best Friends took over. I took all the notebooks full of records with me that document in detail how the cats looked and what medications we gave them.