Accused animal hoarder back in court, facing more charges This woman, whose been using the name Anita Gilbert, is facing charges of animal abuse. YouNews™Story Created: Oct 29, 2008 at 5:22 PM PDT Story Updated: Oct 29, 2008 at 6:32 PM PDT By Carol Ferguson, Eyewitness News Video The Tehachapi woman accused of animal cruelty is finally back in court, and Kern County prosecutors say Anita Gilbert will face another felony charge. "We are in the process of filing an additional charge of failure to appear," said Mike Saleen from the Kern County District Attorney’s office on Wednesday. Gilbert was supposed to be in court in August on the original animal cruelty charges, but she went into hiding when she was also accused of threatening a public official. ***Read more
In jail on Tuesday, Gilbert said she didn’t understand the accusation that she had threatened her public defender. Gilbert said she had been upset about what happened to two of her cats. "I did call Judge Ogelsby and say I was going to commit suicide because I couldn’t live without Dot and Tinkerbell," said Gilbert. "Tinkerbell was killed the day of the raid. And so we thought that Oglesby was going to say that I threatened him, that’s what they charge was. We were shocked to find out that the public defender said I threatened his life." In July, Kern County Animal Control officers had seized about 50 cats and dogs from what they called "filthy" conditions at Gilbert’s home near Tehachapi. Gilbert said she went into hiding when the threat charge was added because she didn’t have the money to post bail on that. Gilbert was finally tracked down last week in the Los Angeles area, and the bail bondsman discovered she had been staying at an Oxnard motel. That’s where 20 cats were found. Gilbert says those animals are cats that ran away from her home near Tehachapi. "After a week in this jail, I bailed out of jail, I ran to my house in Tehachapi to catch those 14 cats," said Gilbert. She added that one cat had gotten sick, and that’s the dead cat officers found in the motel freezer. Gilbert also says some of the cats had gotten pregnant, and that’s why there were also eight kittens found in the room. The manager of the Vagabond motel says the room was left in such a mess that they have to replace the carpet. Cleaning crews also found two more kittens the day after officers had searched the room, and they found two active cell phones as well. The cats have been taken to the Ventura County Animal Shelter. Oxnard Police spokesman David Keith says eight cats had to be euthanized and 11 are in isolation at the shelter. Kern County Animal Control Director Guy Shaw says he asked Oxnard officials if they will charge Gilbert with animal cruelty because of the cats found in the motel. Shaw said he was told those officials are still reviewing the situation. While Gilbert was on the run, the bail bondsman and authorities discovered she had used a number of different names. A family from the Bay Area says the real Anita Gilbert is a Florida woman who died of cancer in 2007. Bail bondsman Bob Herman says Gilbert used the name "Elizabeth Neuffer" to rent an apartment this summer in the community of Fillmore. The manager of the Oxnard motel says Gilbert checked in there under the name "Gretchen Becker." Riverside County officials say she is the same woman they accused of animal cruelty in 2006. They knew her as "Barbara Ryan." In jail on Tuesday, "Gilbert" would not say what her real name is. But she said the woman who owns the Tehachapi house told her to use that name. "Susan Marlow found the Anita Gilbert name on the Internet, and she said, ‘use that so that Riverside doesn’t catch up with you.’ I didn’t have a credit card under Anita Gilbert’s name," said Gilbert. "I didn’t have any credit card except my own name." "Gilbert" will be back in court in Mojave next month on the charge of threatening a public official. She’s set to be in court in Bakersfield on Thursday on the animal cruelty charges.