Animal control officials are arranging to return the abducted woman's "well-cared-for" cats, dogs and birds

By Howard Breuer and Susan Young
September 17, 2009 03:45 PM
Credit: Nick Ut/AP

Jaycee Dugard and her daughters are preparing for another happy homecoming: with their animals.

Pets removed from Phillip Garrido’s house after his Aug. 26 arrest on kidnapping and rape charges include five cats, two dogs, three cockatiels, a pigeon, white mice and a parakeet.

Animal control officials say that only one of the mice is still alive – but other than that, the pets remain in good health, and Jaycee, 29, Starlit, 15, and Angel, 11, are anxious to get them back.

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“We’ve been going the extra mile, socializing with the cats and taking the dogs for walks. They are all very friendly animals, and you can tell they were well-cared for and never tormented,” says Lt. Nancy Anderson of the Contra Costa County animal shelter. “There was never a question of them going up for adoption unless (Jaycee) indicated she didn’t want them back. But that’s not the case. I think there’s going to be another happy reunion for the family.”

One of the dogs is a Rottweiler mix and the other is a Labrador mix, Anderson said. The cats are described only as basic, shorthaired and very sweet housecats. The pigeon and mouse were caged.

Anderson says a liaison for Jaycee has made it clear she and the girls want the pets back soon, but it was unclear exactly when the reunion would happen. Jaycee, her daughters, and her mother are with counselors in an undisclosed location in El Dorado County, which is prosecuting the Garridos.