YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Humane agents rescued nearly 100 cats from a home in Youngstown Friday afternoon. They made the discovery after neighbors started complaining about a large number of rats in the area.
It was a big undertaking for Animal Charity agents, who removed 97 cats –and counting — from a home on Greenwood Street.
“I was amazed,” said David Mikolaj, who lives nearby. “I’ve heard she had a few cats in there, but never knew that much.”
Some agents described it as the worst cat hoarding situation Mahoning County has seen in recent years.
They said all of the cats are infested with fleas and have varying medical needs.
One cat was even in labor as it was being taken from the house.
“Our number one concern right now is getting those animals into a safe situation and getting them medically treated,” said Mary Louk, with Animal Charity.
Investigators described what they found as a “neighborhood emergency” with hundreds, if not thousands, of rodents nearby, which they believe could be because of the conditions inside the home.
“The house is completely saturated with cat feces, urine, the whole nine yards,” said Mike Durkin, Youngstown’s code enforcement and blight remediation superintendent. “Most likely, we will be looking at some sort of neighborhood nuisance and/or demolishing it if it comes to that.”
At this point, humane agents believe they got most of the cats out, but will likely need to set traps to rescue the remaining.
“She had pulled cats out of couch cushions. They were actually living in couch cushions, in beds. They had clawed through beds and were sleeping in the frames of the beds,” Louk said.
Durkin said a man and woman were living in the house. The woman was taken to the hospital.
Humane agents said they’ll be talking with a prosecutor next week about the case.
“A lot of times, we have to pursue charges because if we don’t, the people just — they move and they do the same thing all over again. So it’s not that we want to penalize them legally, we want to get them help,” Louk said.
Animal Charity is in desperate need of 80 six-quart shoe boxes, four to five box fans, dry adult cat food, dry and wet kitten food, kitten formula, paper towels, kitten bottles, cat litter, cat and kitten bowls, and small blankets. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter at 4140 Market Street in Boardman.