MENTOR -- After an extensive investigation, the Lake Humane Society won a case against a woman who was found guilty on five counts of cruelty or neglect concerning a companion animal.
Eighty-eight animals -- 85 cats and 3 dogs --were severely neglected and most of them were very ill.
In this investigation, in which LHS partnered with The Lake County General Health District, Lake Humane Society was able to seize the 88 animals.
The woman in this case claimed to be a rescue organization. When considering adoption, it is very important that potential adopters do their research in order to avoid organizations like this.
The seizure itself was performed by six LHS staff members and took a total of four hours.
As the staff of LHS walked through the house on Oct. 17, the smell of urine and feces overwhelmed them, causing their eyes and throats to burn, even through their protective gear.
Garbage and clutter was piled in every room. The cats were all sneezing and had runny eyes and noses.
Many of them had trouble breathing due to their sickness and the environment they were living in. The sight of many of the cats was just heartbreaking, said society officials.
Some of them were just too sick. Two of the animals had to be euthanized shortly after arriving at LHS in order to end their suffering and pain.
After several attempts of treatments and no hopes of recovery, nine more animals had to be humanely euthanized. LHS only euthanizes for severe health and temperament issues.
Due to this high number of animals being seized at once, the intake at LHS was backed up for several months, especially because many of these animals were being treated for URI for so long.
Unfortunately, this caused the community to become very frustrated with the shelter because LHS could not take in their animals until they caught up with the ones already in their care.
LHS could not discuss details with the community as it was still an open case.
When LHS's Humane Agent originally began this investigation, she was told that there were only 35 cats total, so shelter officials were not expecting such an overwhelming number.
The dogs in this case were kept in an enclosed fence outside in the backyard. These dogs were left outside year-round and got very little human contact.
As of Feb. 12, 22 of the animals from this case have been adopted.
Many of the animals are still waiting to be adopted at the shelter and some are still, four months later, undergoing medical treatments.
It is so important to make sure, when adopting, that the organization is reputable. Ask to see vet records and vaccine records. Ask how long they have had the animal. A reputable rescue organization will have no problem releasing this information to you.
When adopting puppies, make sure they have been with the "rescue" for at least 10-14 days.