YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Humane agents from Animal Charity of Ohio removed at least 60 cats from a house in Youngstown Wednesday afternoon.
The house is in the 400 block of Breaden Street. It has been condemned due to its deplorable condition.
Humane agents had to make multiple trips with their van full of cats. At one point, they had to stack the cats in their carriers next to the house in the shade while others went to get more carriers. Most of the cats appeared to have never been outside.
“When we first approached the home, it was apparent from the smell that we were getting from the street this was likely going to be a hoarding situation,” said Jane MacMurchy, director of Animal Charity.
Animal Charity had success using cat food to catch the cats because they were very hungry, humane agents said.
MacMurchy said they received an anonymous tip about the house.
“There was allegedly supposed to be 15 cats inside the house. When we were doing our initial inspection of the house, we stopped counting at 60,” she said.
In Youngstown, there is no legal limit for the number of cats allowed in a home. MacMurchy says there should be a limit. If there were, it could mean her team could be proactive in searching out hoarding situations instead of being called in for crisis management.
“I myself have met with the code enforcement officers about this. It is something that we would love city council to enact. This is our fourth hoarding that we’ve done in three weeks,” MacMurchy said.
Four adults were living in the home. MacMurchy says they plan to file charges.
“There can be a charge for each cat. There can be two charges for each cat if they are sick and neglected of medical care. If they’re living in deplorable conditions, that’s a charge,” she said.
MacMurchy estimates their rescue efforts will last through Friday.
Animal Charity also said a dog that was removed from the home did not survive. Due to medical complications and an inoperable mass, the dog had to be humanely put down.
Humane agents said the home is worse than one on the West Side in 2020 where almost 100 cats were found. The stench spread outside the home.
The house was condemned in 2019 because there was no running water. The water got turned back on but the notice was never taken off the front window.
Nick Rich contributed to this report.