A Montgomery County judge has turned down an attempt by a former Towamencin woman to get back the pets she was accused of trying to kill.
Prosecutors argued that the 17 cats and one dog seized from 57-year-old Linda Muchnick (pictured here) should not be returned to her because they are derivative contraband, which means they were used in committing an unlawful act. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity at her animal cruelty trial earlier this year. A Montgomery County judge found that she could not understand the consequences of her actions. The pets are under SPCA care, and the ruling means they can be put up for adoption. While she was cleared of the criminal charges, she is still under a civil court order to continue mental health treatment. When Towamencin Township Police arrived at her East Bishopwood Boulevard home they found the cats in a locked bedroom with rat poison in their food bowls, and they found a note saying she planned to kill herself along with her pets because of financial hardship. She felt it was the only way out, and she wanted to join them in Heaven. She now lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Pottstown.