Youngstown, Cat Ladies reach settlement; shelter reopens Monday
By Elise Franco
A settlement with the city prosecutor helped the Cat Ladies Society get its facility reopened without facing criminal charges.
Since mid-September, Jay Macejko, Youngstown city prosecutor, has been reviewing evidence on allegations that animal cruelty was occurring at the 2217 Mahoning Ave. shelter.
On Sept. 15, Animal Charity seized 83 cats from the Cat Ladies Society after completing its own investigation.
Macejko said Thursday that he and Atty. Damian Billack, who represents Cat Ladies’ volunteer Kimm Koocher, came to a written settlement on Oct. 25 allowing the shelter to reopen Monday.
The prosecutor said Animal Charity took photos of every cat seized, so he was able to see the condition of each animal.
“Everyone feels this isn’t a typical animal-cruelty investigation ... There were allegations against an agency whose expressed purpose is to care for animals,” he said. “It seemed obvious that there was the possibility of criminal conduct. It was not an overwhelming situation, but indications were there.”
Macejko said the agreement stipulates terms the cat Ladies Society will have to follow to remain open.
Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.