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Child, Animal Cruelty Case Ends In Arrest
Oakdale Police

A woman who left her son and more than three dozen cats in a moving truck was arrested by Oakdale Police on Sunday afternoon.

Officers were dispatched to a local hotel in the 800 block of East F Street around 4 p.m. Sunday, June 3 regarding a woman who was seeking aid for sick cats.

Upon arrival on the scene, police contacted Heidi Gusman, 51, in the lobby of the motel, noting she was hysterically attempting to get help for her cats. Officers were also notified by other citizens they heard loud banging noises coming from inside a nearby moving truck. Through an investigation, officers determined the prior noises were related to Gusman’s 11-year-old son and 39 cats that were left unattended inside the cargo area of the truck. All appeared to be in significant distress from the magnified effects of the day’s high heat. The high temperature in Oakdale on Sunday was 102 degrees.

As a result of the unsafe act of leaving her son and the cats unattended in the hot moving truck, Gusman was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center and charged with Child Cruelty and Cruelty to Animals. Child Protective Services was contacted and the child was placed into protective custody. The cats were taken to the Oakdale Pet Shelter.