MENTOR, Ohio - A Lake County woman was found guilty of neglecting animals after 88 cats and dogs were removed from her house in October.
The Lake Humane Society said the house smelled like urine and feces, and most of the 85 cats were sick. The cats were sneezing and had runny noses, while nasal discharge coated the walls inside the house.
"When I first entered the residence on the Friday before the seizure, the smell was overwhelming. The conditions of the home that these cats, and woman, were living in was unhealthy for everyone, but my immediate concern had to be for the animals," humane agent Jen Sperry said. "They were not able to open a window or walk outside for fresh air and it was obvious that they needed medical treatment."
The humane society said 11 cats had to be euthanized because they had no chance of recovery. Other animals are still improving months later.
Humane agents also removed three dogs, which were kept outside year-round, and were without food and water.
The owner was convicted on five counts of cruelty or neglect concerning a companion animal. According to the humane society, the woman claimed she was part of a rescue organization.
The entire process bogged down the Lake Humane Society and they were unable to take in any other animals.
"It is so important to make sure, when adopting, that the organization is reputable. Ask to see vet records and vaccine records," Sperry said. "Just because an organization has the word "rescue" or "humane society" in their name, does not mean they are reputable."