Just Nasty: Owners charged after 39 pets found living in deplorable conditions euthanized

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SOLON, OH (WOIO) - A Solon woman and her husband have been charged after police found their pets living in deplorable conditions.

Steven and Heidi Friedman are both charged with 39 counts of Cruelty to Animals and two counts of Endangering Children. The couple is out on bond.

Heidi turned herself in earlier in the day while Steven waited until late Tuesday to turn himself in.

The Solon Police Department confirms that more than three dozen animals were found in the Friedman's home Friday and they all had to be euthanized.

According to a police report, a complaint was filed about a large number of unattended dogs and foul odor coming from a home located at 33555 Wagon Wheel Drive.

Solon Police and the Solon Animal Warden arrived on scene and were able to gain access to the home by contacting the homeowner and obtaining the garage code. After a brief check inside, authorities called the Solon Fire Department to bring out their respirator unit because the odor was so foul they could not proceed with their investigation.

Two Solon Police officers and two Animal Wardens suited up in the equipment and entered. A Solon Building Department employee and a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health also came to the scene.

Inside the home, authorities removed twenty-five dogs of various size, eight cats two of which were dead, three birds, two guinea pigs and one bird. That's thirty-nine animals total. There was one more cat inside of the home that officials could not catch, so a trap was left inside the home.

According to officials, the residence was so deplorable and unsanitary that the City Building Department tagged it as condemned and not habitable. All thirty-nine animals were in such poor condition and infested with fleas that they had to all be euthanized.

Sunday, the owner of the home, Steven Friendman, was advised of his rights and waived them before he was interviewed by officers and the City of Solon Prosecutor.

During the interview, he told police that his wife and children were currently at the home cleaning it up. Solon Police were immediately dispatched to the property because nobody was allowed inside of the home without authorization from the City of Solon Building Department and or the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. The Friedman's wife and children were escorted from the home and returned to the police department for interviews.

Heidi and children of the homeowner were interviewed by officers and the prosecutor.

Arrangements were made for the family to stay at a local hotel and were given a phone number to the American Red Cross for further assistance.

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