Algonquin man charged with 81 counts of felony animal cruelty

An Algonquin man was charged with 82 counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals after authorities removed 101 cats from a townhouse, according to police and court records.

Of those, 86 had to be euthanized, according to the report.

Charges were filed against Lars S. Sorensen, 59, on Oct. 23, 2023. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 20, records show.

Sorensen’s attorney, Brian Mirandola, declined to comment.

Kane County Animal Control Executive Director Brett Youngsteadt said the facility has 15 cats surviving, and the rest were euthanized because of their aggression and sickness.

“Our ultimate goal is to rehabilitate them so they can be adopted. In these hoarding situations, it becomes like ‘Lord of the Flies,’ with each cat jockeying for position,” Youngsteadt said. “We had to do what was best for these cats.”

The cats could not be released as feral cats because they are imprinted by humans. If a feral cat is approached, it runs away. The cats would put the public at risk if a child or adult were to try to pet it, Youngsteadt said.

Sorensen’s cat situation was first reported on Oct. 2, 2023, by a veterinarian at Huntley Animal Care, according to an Algonquin police report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The vet told police that Sorensen brought in five cats to be euthanized and that “they were in horrible condition,” according to the report.

The vet sent photos of the cats to police.

When the officer checked other area veterinary clinics, several reported Sorensen had brought in cats to be euthanized.

One animal hospital told police their records showed Sorensen had 22 cats euthanized there from 2014 to 2016.

When officials arrived at Sorensen’s residence in October to serve a search warrant and seize the cats, “the floors of the residence, walls, and many other surfaces were covered in what appeared to be feline excrement and hair,” according to the report.

In speaking with Algonquin detectives, Sorensen said that “the cats got out of control,” according to reports. Sorensen told police he and his wife started with four cats, then began allowing feral cats to come inside, and they started breeding.

At one point, Sorensen said Anderson Humane took 20 of their cats.

Sorensen’s wife was not at the townhouse but is in a rehabilitation facility, according to the report.

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