Justice for Hundreds of Cats Abused at Shelter

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Target: DanaMarie Pannella, Cleveland Animal Protective League attorney

Goal: Fully prosecute the man and woman who allegedly neglected 147 cats by leaving them in unsanitary conditions and not providing adequate care.

Two owners of a Cleveland cat rescue shelter called the Cat Crossing are being charged with animal neglect after authorities found 147 cats living in deplorable conditions without adequate care, shelter or air. The reported conditions of the shelter where the animals were kept were so bad that nearly all of the cats became sick and diseased. The poor creatures had problems ranging from emaciation, ringworm, ear mites, intestinal parasites, feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and respiratory, ear, skin and eye infections.

During an initial visit to the shelter, authorities found more than 100 animals allegedly living in cramped spaces that were covered in feces and urine and with uncleaned litter boxes. Disease spread easily among the animals because sick ones were not kept away from the healthy ones. One of the owners claimed there were so many cats because the shelter’s focus was on nursing the cats back to health rather than finding them new homes. With so many of the cats carrying infectious diseases, this obviously was not the case.

One of the owners allegedly started the shelter after having nearly 100 cats taken from her home in the past after neighbors filed a complaint that she was hoarding the animals in unhealthy conditions. The shelter had received instructions from the Animal Protective League in the past to take measures to better care for the cats, but these instructions were ignored. Some of the cats allegedly had to have eyes removed because of infections,  and some even had to be labeled as unadoptable and be euthanized.

This kind of cruel animal neglect resulted in the death and horrible sickening of a large number of animals. It’s apparent this has been a problem in the past for these owners, so it cannot continue to be a liability. These people need to be fully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


Dear Attorney Pannella,

The owners of the Cat Crossing cat rescue shelter are being charged with animal neglect after authorities allegedly found 147 cats living in deplorable conditions without adequate care, shelter or air. These animals had problems like emaciation, ringworm, ear mites, intestinal parasites, feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and respiratory, ear, skin and eye infections.

These people have reportedly kept animals in terrible hoarding conditions in the past and not properly care for them. We cannot allow this kind of animal cruelty to go unnoticed, especially to such a large number of animals. I urge you to prosecute these people under the full extent of the law so they receive the maximum punishment for their disgusting actions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ktuspics via Flickr

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  1. Cecily Colloby says:

    Sue Gundich-I stick by what I say. I obviously DON’T know all the facts so can only go by what this petition says and,judging by what it says-filthy conditions, sick animals, feces and urine everywhere etc etc-these people DO need punishing. It doesn’t cost anything to empty litter trays, clean the place up and so on.Oh,and I bet they themselves didn’t live in squalour with insufficient shelter, lack of medical attention,lack of food and so on. The facts (if indeed they are the facts) speak for themselves so SHAME ON YOU for defending them!!!!Animals can’t help themselves and anyone who takes on an animal -or several-should always put the animal’s needs first and,if necessary, go without themselves to provide the proper care for that animal.

    • Sue Gundich says:

      And shame on you for judging without all the facts. The people lived at the shelter with the animals. They are there 24/7. They had plenty of food, and litter, and even the vet that came helped scoop little boxes. The vet came regularly and there was medication on the premises. But you go ahead and believe what ever you read. I’ll be busy helping.

  2. Do you think people like this belong anywhere near animals? I smell mental instability here. The suffering these sweeties must’ve gone through — PLEASE, take all the animals away from them — from hereon in, they MUST be nowhere near animals — they MUST be held accountable; there must be some punishment meted out along with penalties — do whatever it takes so they learn a huge and important lesson and above all, NO MORE ANIMALS for them!

    We need to fire those who presently are in authority OR to MAKE them do their jobs — if THEY don’t give a damn, we’re in BIG trouble! Who appoints them? In any case, let’s keep after them until they DO what they should be doing — doing good for the animals! And, let’s go all the way to the top, if we must! We need the RIGHT people in these positions — those who love and care about animals!

    • Sue Gundich says:

      Jo Munz, does this mean you are qualified to identify mental unstable people by smell? Where did you get your degree for that. The point I am trying to make is that the whole story has not been told. I usually support petitions that help animals, however this particular one was started by an attorney being paid to go after this woman, who was simply not at the scene. To embellish the case the way Panella has disheartening and will now cause me to examine very closely every petition I am asked to sign in the future.

      • This was not started by an attorney. It was started by ongoing complaints received by the APL from people that visiting Cat Crossings…people from the general public that went there to see the cats & were appalled by the conditions. Anytime someone calls in a complaint about inhumane conditions, the city will send out investigators. They received several warnings over the past few years before the cats were finally removed. Do you know that? Why do you keep defending a place that would knowingly put healthy cats in danger of contracting FIV & FeLV?? If you do that, you’re not saving cats…you’re killing them. And then they were allowing the cats that were terminally ill & dying to suffer needlessly in a cage when they should have been put out of their misery. I have no doubt these people started the rescue with good intentions, but obviously things went in the wrong direction here.

        • Don’t waste your breath Linda. Sue Gundich (Susan Williams Gundich) is clearly a Cat Crossing supporter and probably a volunteer there according to her facebook page. Apparently she can’t read. This petition is started by Kelsey Jenkins to be sent to the lawyer prosecuting this case. Derp. Please stop “usually supporting petitions” if you can’t even read them. kthx. PS- Pictures don’t lie sweetheart.

  3. Cecily Colloby says:

    Sue Gundich-I think the rest of us would LOVE to know all the facts !! We can only go by what the petition says and it seems very odd to me that this woman would be investigated if there was no good reason to do so. Let’s face it, the authorities need enough “encouragement” to go after obviously bad cases so why would someone “pay an attorney” to go after this woman if it wasn’t necessary?? Please give us all the facts-or start a petition in this woman’s defence if you feel she has been wrongly accused….

  4. Anita Culling says:

    Very sad. If these people were trying to help then maybe they need lots of help to be able to do this. If it is just plain cruelty they must be prosecuted. Either way these poor animals deserve proper care.

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