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Removal of cats is sought



Published: Tue, September 5, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Angels for Animals staff will euthanize the sick and dying cats, an official said.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Angels for Animals officials hope to finalize a deal today so a certified humane officer can remove the dead and dying cats from a house on Youngstown's South Side.

Diane Less Baird, president of Angels for Animals, said Monday she and her staff worked all weekend and on Monday to find an officer certified to legally remove abused animals from a home.

Less Baird declined to give any further details while planning was still in progress.

"The good news is something is going to be done," she said.

An officer with the Humane Society of America in Columbus contacted The Vindicator offering help to pay for any euthanization of animals too sick to survive, but Less Baird said that her staff will do any euthanization necessary.

Dave Nelson, Mahoning County deputy dog warden, responded to a call Thursday at 1317 Douglas Ave. about a pit bull, but instead found a house full of dead and starving cats. Neighbors said the woman who lived there died a month or more ago and the son has been despondent.

The house is owned by S.E. and L.J. Travis Jr., records show. Nelson estimated about 40 cats were starving and countless others were dead.

Nelson said Friday that the Animal Charity officer has yet to be certified to remove neglected animals and prosecute animal cruelty cases.

Jennifer Houser, Animal Charity program director, said Friday that Jason Osborne is not a humane agent yet but is in the process of becoming one. She said Animal Charity will assist police and the dog warden in any way it can but could not enter the Douglas Avenue house to rescue the animals.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said Friday that the city attempted to secure the services of the dog warden's office but to no avail. Macejko said the city has neither the resources nor the expertise to deal with the problem, even though the house poses a significant public health problem.




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