Olive Branch Man Fights to Keep Cats

(Olive Branch, MS) An Olive Branch man is faced with the heartbreaking decision of getting rid of two cats because he is over the legal limit as allowed by the city.

The man says he wants to be left alone because his eight cats are like his children, but someone complained to police.

Police say they found the man and his cats in an unsanitary environment for people and inhumane environment for the cats.

“That`s like having to give away one of your kids to me. Cause I never was married, and I never had any kids,” said Jimmy Akins.

Akins says he started taking in cats when his father died of Leukemia many years ago, “My kids, that`s what they are to me. I feed them can food in the morning and at night and I cook them boiled chicken breast for lunch.”

He has eight cats after putting two down Monday. 

Next week, a judge will decide if Akins needs to get rid of two more cats to comply with city rules.

According to the city ordinance Olive Branch will let you have six cats and four dogs inside your house.

That’s a lot more flexible than neighboring Southaven, where you can only have five adult animals.

In Horn Lake you can only have four animals inside your house. 

Akins says he can’t pick which two cats should go, “Well, I would rather them euthanize me than have to watch that, because I`m all they`ve ever known, and I don’t think they`ll be able to adjust.”

Police say someone complained about the cats so they went to check it out.

That’s when they found Akins and his mother breaking the law.

They also found a cat with severe sores on its head.

“We`re not the cat police going around knocking on doors asking how many animals you have, but that is a city ordinance, and it was made for the reason of health and things being sanitary,” Said Major Tim Presley with the Olive Branch Police Department.

Akins says he’s ripped up carpet and cleaned to comply with the rules.

He will go before a judge Tuesday who will decide the fate of the cats, buts he says he is ready to fight for them.