Skip to comments.146 cats taken from home
Posted on 08/19/2004 11:57:46 AM PDT by dangus
46 cats taken from home BY MARGARET REIST / Lincoln Journal Star The cats covered the basement floor of the small brick home in south Lincoln like a giant long-haired rug. Upstairs, the smell wafted out the front door and into the tree-lined street, right into the nostrils of Animal Control manager Jim Weverka, who found himself in the middle of the largest cat rescue his office has ever seen.
"When I first walked in the room, it looked like the floor was just fur," Weverka said. "Then we realized they were cats. Real cats."
A total of 146 of them, in one basement, in one little house, in violation of a number of laws.
"This is the highest number of cats we've ever picked up in the history of Animal Control," Weverka said Wednesday, a day after someone anonymously reported a strong ammonia or urine smell coming from the house at 4120 Linden St.
Tuesday afternoon, an Animal Control officer went to the home. The residents let him in but not downstairs at first. The officer called police, other Animal Control officers, the city-county Health Department and Weverka.
"I could smell it the moment I got in the middle of the street," Weverka said of the odor.
When the residents finally let officers downstairs, it appeared they had tried to clean up, Weverka said, and there was little feces on the floor.
Animal Control officers found nearly all of the cats in a 12-foot by 13Â½-foot basement room. They were on the floor, on a mattress, on white plastic chairs. Several cages in another room held eight or nine cats.
A yellow ring, left by male cats spraying the area, surrounded the concrete block walls, Weverka said. There was no evidence of litter boxes or food, though there were several water bowls.
The house was not air-conditioned, nor did it have hot water, Weverka said.
Police said Rickey Meyer, 49, who was living in the basement of his mother-in-law's home with his wife,SharonMeyer, was ticketed.
Mentha Grabowski, Meyer's mother-in-law, lived upstairs. She told authorities she didn't know that many cats were living in her basement. She declined to comment for this story.
Meyer was ticketed on suspicion of:
* Having cats without a license.
* Unsanitary conditions.
* Exceeding the legal number of cats.
* Not having a license to breed cats.
He could not be reached to comment.
City ordinance allows residents to have up to five cats without a permit and up to 15 with a permit.
Weverka said he plans to add a charge of animal neglect after all of the cats are thoroughly examined.
Initial examinations showed that many of the cats were underweight and had teary eyes. All of them had ear mites. Their coats and teeth were in poor condition, too, and some had scars from fights.
Donna Bode, director of development and fund raising at the Humane Society, said most of the cats weighed about half as much as they should.
It's too early to tell how many will be able to be adopted, she said.
"We're going to do the very best we can to place as many as we can," she said.
Animal Control officers also took a dog belonging to Grabowski. The dog was licensed, and officers returned it to her after examining it, Weverka said.
Meyer told officers that about five years ago he had just four cats. The feline family grew from there.
"They weren't spayed or neutered, and they just started reproducing," Weverka said.
Many of the cats look similar: black and white or gray, some with Siamese coloring.
The cats are all being housed at the Capital Humane Society, Bode said, and the full house is taxing the shelter.
About 100 cats already were at the shelter when these cats arrived, Bode said.
They are being held in dog cages, and the Humane Society is asking for donations of cash or supplies to help. Bode estimated employee overtime costs could reach $4,000 and medical costs up to $6,000.
This is the third sizable cat case in recent history, Weverka said. In July 2003, Animal Control officials rescued 78 cats and two dogs from a house on South Street. This spring, they rescued 40 cats from a north Lincoln home, Weverka said.
Steve Hale lives next door and could occasionally catch a whiff of the odor, but it didn't bother him. He gets along fine with his neighbors, he said.
He often saw them bringing home bags of cat litter.
"I just figured they had a few cats."
Reach Margaret Reist at 473-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think he naturally produces meth, both -ane and -amphetamine. He's a little crackhead sometimes, but a total hoot.
Ah, you say that now . . .
True. I remember saying that at six also but this time I mean it.
Anybody want a peanut?
Tell me about it. My damm cat got his lisence revoked.
[Freepmail me to get on or off the Kitty Ping List.]
Is she looking for ZOTS?
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