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Humane Society takes full custody of animals

By jim Published: July 31, 2009

Heaven Can Wait turns over pets in lieu of fees

By Ed Meyer
Beacon Journal staff writer

The scores of dogs and cats taken by authorities this month from a house used by the Heaven Can Wait organization have been turned over to the custody of the Humane Society of Greater Akron, officials said.

Karen Conklin, the society's executive director, said Thursday an agreement was reached with the Heaven Can Wait founders to surrender all 106 animals in lieu of about $20,000 in fees that she said the founders owed since the animals were seized by authorities July 13.

The Akron Health Department condemned the Vesper Street house used by Heaven Can Wait, seizing 45 dogs and 61 cats from the premises that day.

A Humane Society officer testified at a municipal court hearing last week that one of the rescued cats had its tail amputated from an infectious buildup of its own waste.

The Heaven Can Wait founders, Heather Nagel and her mother, Patricia Mihaly, are awaiting an Aug. 17 municipal court hearing on 15 charges in connection with cruelty to animals. Both of the women pleaded not guilty to the charges and are free on bond.

Under terms of the agreement reached Thursday, Conklin said all 106 animals belong to the Humane Society and are under its care, with help from the One Of A Kind Pets store on West Market Street in Akron.

Conklin said most of the animals are now eligible for adoption.

''The sooner we can get these animals into homes, the better it is for the animals,'' Conklin said.

She urged area residents wishing to adopt one of the animals to call 330-657-2010 and ask for an adoption counselor.

All of the animals have been medically evaluated and ''seem to be in adoptable condition,'' Conklin said.

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