LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Two male and one female Tabby kittens were left inside a car in Lake County on Friday, officials said.
The animals were in a Kia Spectra parked at St. Gabriel Church in Concord Township. It was about 82 degrees when someone called the Sheriff's Office to report the situation.
Around noon, authorities arrived on scene and noticed no people were in the car and that the windows were rolled up. They said they saw a small animal cage propped up on the passengers seat, and three 3-month-old kittens were exposed to sunlight.
Officials said the kittens appeared to be suffering seizures as they were foaming at the mouth and twitching uncontrollably. The vehicle was locked and deputies forced entry into the vehicle to provide aid to the kittens.
Deputies removed the kittens from the sun exposure and utilized bottled water to cool the kitten's body temperatures. Two of the kittens responded to the aid and one remained in a seizure status.
Deputies contacted Caroline's Kidz Cat Rescue Center at 7394 Morley Rd. for assistance. The kittens were then taken to an area animal hospital.
All three kittens were severely dehydrated and flea infested.
The owner of the kittens was identified as Erica Petro, 32.
Petro told authorities she is homeless and having difficulties providing for her own welfare. Petro went to St. Gabriel's Church seeking charity and did not believe she had left the kittens in harm's way.
Petro was placed under arrest and booked into the Lake County Jail on three 5th-degree felony counts of animal cruelty.
Petro will be held at the Lake County Jail pending her arraignment Sept. 26.
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