Harrisburg woman breaks silence on cats, property

A Harrisburg woman accused of hoarding cats broke her silence Tuesday.

Donna Layton said it was time to tell her story after her latest run-in with police.

Visibly frustrated, Layton, 38, said she had reached her breaking point and was “really stressed out.” She said a Harrisburg police officer told her that if she does not leave her trailer, the city would remove it from her property.

“I want to keep my trailer,” she said. “I don’t see any reason what the city is going to do with it. The City of Harrisburg needs my trailer?”

Layton was arrested last month on a misdemeanor charge that was filed after a series of code violations. Her arrest came as humane specialists entered her home in the 2000 block of Manada Street; a property neighbors said they have complained about for two years.

On that day, officials said only a “dozen or two” cats were found to be living on the property.

Layton says she fed cats over the past couple years, but did not own any.

“One of the cats tore the screen and I just didn’t bother to fix it because it was winter,” she said. “I thought I’d let them come in to keep warm because it was winter, so I didn’t bother fixing it. I let them come and go. They wouldn’t stay in my house, they would come and go.”

Despite a yellow sign on the door deeming her home “Unfit for Human Living,” Layton says she was kicked out in February and has since been living in her car, not her trailer.

She says she feels targeted by neighbors and police.

Harrisburg police said no other charges were pending against Layton. Her next court date is in August.

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