88 animals seized in Lake County hoarding case - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Hoarder Horror: Nearly 100 animals seized in Lake County hoarding case

Scene (SOURCE: Lake Humane Society) Scene (SOURCE: Lake Humane Society)
Cat from the scene (SOURCE: Lake Humane Society) Cat from the scene (SOURCE: Lake Humane Society)

After an extensive investigation, Lake Humane Society won a case against a woman who was found guilty on five counts of cruelty or neglect concerning a companion animal.

88 animals, 85 cats and 3 dogs, were severely neglected and most of them were very ill.

In this investigation, in which LHS partnered with The Lake County General Health District, Lake Humane Society was able to seize the 88 animals.

As the staff of LHS walked through the house on October 17, the smell of urine and feces overwhelmed them causing their eyes and throats to burn, even through their protective gear.

"It was definitely troubling to see that many animals and that many that were in need," says Jennifer Sperry with the Lake Humane Society. "Burning your eyes, burning your throat, just making you nauseous, several trips outside in and out as we were removing the animals."

There was nasal discharge covering all of the walls in the home and garbage and clutter piled in every room. The cats were all sneezing and had runny eyes and noses. Many of them had trouble breathing due to their sickness and the environment they were living in.

Lake Humane Society did everything they could to save these poor, neglected animals, but some of them were just too sick. Two of the animals had to be euthanized shortly after arriving at LHS. After several attempts of treatments and no hopes of recovery, nine more animals had to be humanely euthanized. 

Some of these animals are still undergoing medical treatment to this day.

Due to this high number of animals being seized at once, the intake at LHS was backed up for several months, especially because many of these animals were being treated for so long.

The dogs in this case were kept in an enclosed fence outside in the backyard. These dogs were left outside year-round and got very little human contact. When the dogs were seized, they had no food or water. They were in much better shape than the cats (because they were not living in the conditions of the home), but they were still just as neglected.

As of Friday, 22 of the animals from this case have been adopted and have found loving homes.

Many of the animals are still waiting to be adopted at the shelter and some are still, four months later, undergoing medical treatments.

"If you can't adopt make a donation. If you can't make a donation spread the word. Let people know that our organization is here," said Sperry.

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