Warwick CCTV System Used To Identify Man Who Dumped Cats

From The Chronical Telegram

ELYRIA - A man with a large blue and green-striped American Greetings gift bag walked into the Animal House at the Midway Mall Saturday morning and left about 30 seconds later - without the bag and the seven kittens inside it.

“I think he may have cared about them because he spent a few moments with them before he abandoned them,” said store owner Michael Luli of Lorain.

An elderly female shopper spotted the man, who entered the store at 10:18 a.m. Video surveillance shows the woman watch the man leave, then head to where he left the bag of kittens before getting a store employee.

Employee Stephania Darmstadt, 18, put the kittens into a cage with food and water.

Luli said he’s still deciding whether to file a police report because abandoning animals is a crime.

Store volunteer Carol Wagner said the kittens seem a little thin but are very playful. Luli and his wife, Crystal, estimate the kittens are 6 weeks old. Five are white, one is a calico and the seventh is an orange tabby.

Crystal Wagner said pure white kittens, often deaf, are uncommon and may be easier to get adopted.

The Animal House deals exclusively with rescued animals or unwanted animals owners can drop off. A surrender fee of $50 for unfixed cats and $75 for dogs, along with some paperwork, complete the process.

The rescued animals are checked by a vet, vaccinated and fixed before adoption. If the animal is too young to be fixed, the new owner will get a certificate for the procedure. There is sometimes a waiting list to drop off animals, Darmstadt said.

“Obviously, he didn’t want to wait or fill out paperwork and he didn’t want to keep the kittens so he dumped them at the first place he thought of,” she said.

Michael Luli said if the man had filled out the paperwork, he only would have had to wait about a week to legally get rid of the kittens. It also would have been free.

“We never charge a surrender fee for kittens or puppies,” Crystal Luli said. “All we ask for is a donation of a bag of cat food or litter or a bag of dog food.”

In the 13 months the Animal House has been in business, 1,100 to 1,200 rescued animals have been adopted, Michael Luli said.

If anyone is interested in adopting the kittens or another animal, they can call the Animal House at (440) 324-2474 or visit the store 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday or 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.

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