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updated: 1/16/2013 6:15 PM

South Elgin cat rescuer awaits verdict

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A decision may be at hand for a South Elgin woman charged with breaking a local law by running a rescue cat operation out of her home. Carol Schultz was ticketed last fall and accused of violating a village ordinance that prohibits running an animal shelter in a residential area. Following a hearing Saturday, her attorney said she expects a written decision by Feb. 9.

The attorney, Kathleen Hamill, said she thought the village did not make the case that Schultz is using her property in any way that violates the village code.

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Mark Schuster, hearing officer for the village, declined comment Wednesday.

Schultz said she ran Guardian Angels Feline Rescue out of her garage for years, but started winding down her operations early in 2011 due to health issues.

In October, she had about 10 cats; she declined to say exactly how many cats she keeps in her garage right now. But she says she stopped taking in new animals since she was issued the violation notice.

"I'm trying to close the garage down," she said. "I am emailing people, sending photos. It's not that easy."

South Elgin Director of Community Development Steve Super said the village's goal is not to leverage fines, but just get compliance from Schultz.

"By all accounts (Schultz) is a very nice person and a lover of cats and all that. It's just that our zoning code doesn't allow animal shelters in a residential area," he said, adding the violation notice was issued after numerous conversations with Schuster.

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