NOVELTY -- The Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village tells Channel 3 that a "humane investigation" has led to the seizure of nearly three dozen cats both inside and outside a Bainbridge home and business on East Washington Street.
Rescue Village says that, in response to a complaint from a Bainbridge Township resident, Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village conducted an investigation, which resulted in the filing and execution of a search and seizure warrant late Monday morning.
The humane officer and his agents, accompanied by the Geauga County Sheriff's Department and Bainbridge Township police, are removing cats from the premises.
The investigation found both premises to be unsanitary, according to Rescue Village.
The team is searching for ill or injured cats both indoors and outdoors and it may take weeks before the number of cats involved is known. The cats will be kept under the protective custody and care of Rescue Village.
Dozens of cats are now at a rescue shelter in Geauga county after officers say they found them living in filthy conditions. Officers had to get a search warrant to get inside the garages of Chagrin Valley Limousine.
When the did, they found dozens of cats. Officers put on special suits to protect themselves from the smell and filth.
They trapped many cats and loaded up a van. They also set traps to capture the others that were hiding.
They could not comment on how many cats are living here or what condition they are in.
The owner, Bob Konst, says he spends over $70 a day on cat food. He also says he lets the cats live the garage of his limousine company in the winter.
Humane officers say it's heartbreaking to see so many animals in need.
"I can tell you that the warrant was looking for sick, injured and deceased animals and that's what we are here for and we've removed quite a few animals," said Humane Officer Christian Courtwright.
"They're not abused. They're coming back. I'm going to sue them. This is not the end. I'm not stopping on this one," said Konst.
Officers also removed 13 cats from Konst's home. It could take much of the week for officers to trap all the cats.
They're at Rescue Village where they will be evaluated.
Rescue Village says all of the cats taken will receive any medical attention that they need but unless or until the owner, or a court of law, signs over custody of the animals, they do not legally belong to the shelter and hence, are not adoptable at this time.
Rescue Village says its staff and volunteers are hard at work making ready for the cats to arrive at the shelter. Extra crates and provisions are being secured and temporary holding space is being made ready. Staff and volunteers have been asked to work overtime to help care for the animals.
Support from the community is very important at this time, and always. Geauga Humane Society is accepting donations to Project S.A.V.E., a special fund to help animals with veterinary emergencies. Community members wishing to contribute to the fund may send donations to Rescue Village - Project SAVE, P.O. Box 116, Novelty, Ohio 44072.
You can also get information about the need at Rescue Village's website.
Donations of clean blankets, clean towels, Purina cat chow, canned cat food and paper towels are also being requested.