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Humane society seizes 100 animals from Damascus home

by: Contributed photo The Oregon Humane Society seized 100 animals, including three kittens, from a Damascus home Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Oregon Humane Society officials seized 95 cats, three kittens and two dogs from a woman's home in Damascus on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The woman was not home at 11:30 a.m. when humane society officers and deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at the 'modest' house on Southeast Foster Road near Highway 212.

A code enforcement officer from Damascus sparked the more than yearlong investigation on May 12, 2010, while responding to a complaint about garbage and animals on the property, said David Lytle, humane society spokesman.

The officer contacted the Oregon Humane Society, which then sent someone to visit the house 'numerous times, noting evidence of neglected cats inside and outside of the property and a strong odor of feces and urine,' Lytle said.

But the woman repeatedly denied the officer access to the animals.

'We need strong evidence to have a search warrant,' Lytle said.

The tipping point came when a person visited the Damascus home and contacted the code enforcement officer reporting a cat 'with its eye sticking out and a bloody tail,' along with several malnourished cats.

The humane society will examine each animal and provide needed medical treatment at its medical center. In addition to being thin, the cats have respiratory problems, weepy eyes and some have open scabs, Lytle said. Infections and parasites also are common in such cases, he said.

Because the animals are considered evidence in a possible animal neglect case, they can't be adopted. However, the large number of cats seized has doubled the number of cats at the humane society, so people are encouraged to adopt one of those animals instead.

Cash for food and medical treatment also is welcome. For details, visit oregonhumane.org.