LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous version of this story on March 11, 2022.
Back on March 8, the Lake Humane Society Humane Investigations Department executed a search warrant at Holy Cat Whiskers after receiving multiple statements and photos that evidenced unsanitary conditions, lack of appropriate quarantine as well as veterinary care.
Upon the search, all 145 cats that were at the rescue facility in Madison Township were removed for medical evaluation and treatment.
When the Lake Humane Society has a case that involves the seizure of animals from a shelter or rescue facility, there is an attempt to work with the location in order to avoid filing criminal charges and reach a positive outcome for the animals and the rescue community.
“Unlike prior cases involving similar operations, Holy Cat Whiskers courageously acknowledged its deficiencies and sought to resolve the matter in the best interest of the cats,” according to a press release from the Lake Humane Society. “As a result, Holy Cat Whiskers and its Board of Directors consented to probable cause for the seizure, surrendered 144 cats to Lake Humane Society and entered into a court-approved Nonprosecution Agreement.”
Based on that agreement, Holy Cat Whiskers will continue its operation under the following conditions:
- Operate pursuant to a Shelter Management Plan, designed by both a Lake Humane Society Veterinarian and a Veterinarian for Holy Cat Whiskers, which provides for quarantine and other protocols consistent with best practices in shelter operation, including providing for a maximum number of cats to be kept in the facility and for veterinary care on a schedule to ensure the health and well-being of each cat
- All cats must be kept in a humane, sanitary, and lawful manner
- Lake Humane Society and other law enforcement are permitted to perform random, unannounced inspections of the facility and its care records.
“We are pleased an agreement was reached with Holy Cat Whiskers without necessity for the filing of criminal charges and we applaud them for taking responsibility and moving forward,” said Lori Caszatt, Executive Director. “Our hope is that in the future, when a rescue becomes overwhelmed or needs help, they reach out to Lake Humane Society before a larger issue occurs. We see great value in local rescues and working together as a team. We all have the same end goal—to save as many lives as possible.”
Since the seizure, the Lake Humane Society has been treating the cats in order to get them back to health. The cats suffered from untreated medical conditions such as upper respiratory infections, parasites, ear mites, severe dental disease, flea infestation, and untreated skin infections.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on April 6, 2022.