PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — The former owners of a home are facing several charges of cruelty to animals, abandoning animals, failure to maintain a property and solid waste violations after an animal hoarding and neglect situation was uncovered by Portsmouth officials.
According to Andy Gedeon of the Portsmouth City Health Department, after a complaint was reported by neighbors, Gedeon, Animal Control Officer Wendy Payton and Portsmouth City Code Enforcement Tiffany Hedrick entered the home and discovered the deplorable conditions, and reached out to Sierra’s Haven for assistance in rescuing the emaciated animals.
According to rescuers, the emergency rescue removed 15 cats from the Portsmouth home, with one animal succumbing to existing issues. Rescuers and Portsmouth City Health Department officials located 20 dead cats within the home, and removed the remaining 15 living animals. The cats were believed to have died from a combination of starvation, and neglect.
“There was garbage covering almost every inch of the floor, cat feces, and at least 14 dead cats. It was the worst thing I have ever experienced,” said a member of the rescue team.
The rescue took two days to complete, with those involved wading through animal waste and trash to remove all of the emaciated cats.
With Sierra’s Haven already at their maximum capacity, housing more than 200 cats and kittens, the unexpected intake of the 14 felines has resulted in an immediate need to order medications, everyday care items, and necessary vaccinations. In order to care for these animals Sierra’s Haven is asking for donations, which can be made on their website.
“We were glad we were able to help rescue these cats from these terrible living conditions,” said a member of Sierra’s staff. “Please consider donating to help with this unexpected expense.”
With the severity of the now condemned home’s condition, the structure is set to be demolished within weeks thanks to emergency funds set aside by city council for these kinds of situations.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740)353-3101 Extension 1932