A 60-year-old Elgin man accused of animal cruelty after 43 dead and decaying cats, birds, squirrels and other animals were found in a van outside his rented home last month failed to appear in court and will forfeit four adult cats that were seized from the property.
William Tinkler, of the 200 block of Villa Street, was due in Elgin branch court to contest a move by prosecutors to make him forfeit four female cats that are being cared for at the Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg.
Assistant State's Attorney Kelley Flinn told Judge Kathryn Karayannis that Tinkler's attorney told Flinn the previous day that he would not be appearing in court.
Karayannis ordered that the four cats be forfeited and that neither Tinkler, nor anyone related to him, be able to adopt them going forward.
Thursday's hearing was a civil matter, so no warrant was issued for his arrest because he missed court.
Tinkler is free on bond and is next due in court Nov. 2 on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.
Last week, Tinkler agreed to allow Elgin police to set traps in and around the rented home in an attempt to capture anywhere from four to eight remaining cats Tinkler said were at the home.
Tinkler was ordered not to interfere with the traps, and his attorney, Michael Reidy, said at the time there were no more animals at the home and his client agreed to allow the traps to show that he is cooperating with authorities.
Flinn also plans to ask Karayannis on Nov. 2 to increase Tinkler's bond on allegations that he violated it. Flinn declined to elaborate.
Elgin Police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said authorities have not captured any more cats.
"Two of the traps were recently tampered with and we're working with appropriate authorities to make sure it doesn't happen again," he added.
Reidy, who did not return a phone message Thursday, has said he could not directly address why a van full of dead animals was found near Tinkler's rented home.
Court documents state the animals, including 27 cats, were "dead or decaying" and included a muskrat, baby opossum and possibly a baby ferret.
If convicted of the misdemeanor cruelty, Tinkler could be jailed for up to 364 days. Probation, fines and community service also are options.