Oregon Humane Society officials Thursday seized more than 40 cats and one dog from a man in Jennings Lodge, south of Milwaukie, who had been under investigation for animal neglect.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: KOIN LOCAL 6 - Dr. Kris Otteman, director of shelter medicine, talks with reporters at the Oregon Humane Society this week.The first group of rescued animals arrived at OHS later that afternoon.

“The evidence strongly indicated that this was a potential cat-hoarding case and that dozens of cats could be suffering from neglect,” said Dr. Kris Otteman, OHS director of shelter medicine. All the animals will receive a medical exam and any needed care at the OHS Holman Medical Center.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: OHS - More than 40 cats and one dog were rescued from a home in Jennings Lodge July 10. OHS officers, along with deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at the suspect’s home on Hull Avenue authorizing officers to remove all neglected animals at the property. Once inside the property, animal handlers and veterinarians from OHS began the task of removing the animals and moving them to a location fully equipped to provide any needed medical care for these pets.

OHS investigators have been in contact with the individual for several years, encouraging him to spay and neuter his cats to avoid overcrowded conditions in his home. The recent investigation stems from a citizen complaint regarding possible neglect on the premises.

The first group of 18 rescues cats began arriving at OHS, 1067 N.E. Columbia Blvd., Portland, at approximately 2:40 p.m. The pets are not available for adoption at this time, as they are considered evidence in a court case.

“They’re social cats, and they get along with people really well, so we’ll probably have the ones that were in better shape up for adoption by the end of the month,” said OHS spokesman David Lytle.

The owner told KOIN 6 News that after his wife and daughter died, the cats helped him cope with depression. While many of the animals were spayed and neutered, some did multiply, he said.

He is now working closely with the Humane Society and is willing to meet with support groups, but if charged, he could face fees in excess of $20,000 for the cats’ care.

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