By Katie Byard
Beacon Journal staff writer
Animal rescuers are scrambling to find homes for about 40 cats living in a Lakemore home its owner vacated.
The cats, found all over the house, are healthy, said volunteer cat trapper and rescuer Eric Schickendantz of Akron.
''Usually in a situation like this, we're dealing with starving, sick cats,'' Schickendantz said. ''That's not the case here.''
Rescuers and a relative of the property owner cleaned feces from floors this week.
''There were 20 litter boxes there, but it still needed an awful lot of cleaning and work,'' Schickendantz said.
The home is apparently in foreclosure, said Lakemore police and Schickendantz.
The relative told Schickendantz that the
property owner had only one cat four years ago.
This cat was never spayed, Schickendantz said.
''This is the poster child for what can happen without spaying and neutering,'' said Schickendantz, who has received food, cleaning supplies and cat carriers from the nonprofit One-of-A-Kind Pet Rescue/Spay and Neuter Clinic in Akron.
Humane Society of Greater Akron Executive Director Karen Conklin said Lakemore police informed her nonprofit agency of the situation last month.
Humane Society officers went to the house and began an investigation but could not seize the cats because they were healthy and the owner was caring for them.
''By [state] law we can only take abused, abandoned or neglected animals,'' she said.
After receiving e-mail notices about the cats from rescue groups last week, Schickendantz began working with the property owner's relative to find homes for the animals.
Schickendantz said the Humane Society took 15 of the cats from the home this week and last week with the permission of the owner.
''We're doing what we can,'' said Conklin, noting that the Humane Society's Boston Township shelter is full.
A Cleveland-area rescue group took eight cats Friday.
About 40 remain.
Anyone interested in taking a cat can call Schickendantz at 330-864-2879 or the Greater Akron Humane Society at 330-657-2010.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.