Multiple cats found living alone in Glencoe home
Updated: September 17, 2012 12:47PM
GLENCOE — Authorities say a half-dozen cats have been found living alone in a vacant Glencoe house.
The two adult cats and four kittens still live in the house in the 1000 block of Elm Ridge Drive, though now they have sustenance, animal control office Katie Sweeney said.
The cats were skinning but outwardly healthy, Sweeney said Monday. She said she is giving homeowner the benefit of the doubt, for now, that the situation may be the result of tough economic times.
Homeowner Mark D. Norris said Tuesday that he and his wife had lived in the house, owned by his parents, whom he said died in a 2011 Wisconsin drowning accident.
He recently sold the family’s Wisconsin property and is trying to sell the Glencoe house, but said a June closing fell through. That’s when he and his wife moved to Chicago.
The cats remained at the Glencoe house. Norris said someone stopped by every other day to take care of the cats, including relatives who occasionally stay at the house.
On Aug. 8, Coldwell Banker Realtor Stephanie Hofman and a client, Debbie Hahamy, visited the house, marketed as a short sale. The cats “had no food, no water, and the house was a mess, and my client got very concerned, and called the police,” Hofman said.
Hahamy, of Glencoe, said there was cat poop everywhere and the carpet smelled like urine. She said the house was littered with empty liquor bottles and cigarette butts.
“It looks like people sleep there. It’s worse than a frat house,” she said. “At least in a frat house, you don’t have to step over cat feces and rodent feces.”
When police arrived, officers reported finding no water or cat food available to the cats. In the basement, they found picked-over carcasses of two rabbits, and parts of several wild birds, which had found their way into the vacant house only to meet their end through tooth and claw.
In the backyard, a small, uncovered swimming pool was found where “the e. coli was off the charts,” Sweeney said.
Norris received two citations on the swimming pool and a “notice of violation” on the cats that Sweeney said required the cats be fed and cared for within 48 hours.
“Right now, they have shelter, food and water,” she said Tuesday. “They’re doing what needs to be done.”
The kittens were playful and seemed healthy after they ate, Hofman said. The older cats are friendly and appear to have been well-cared for at one time.
Both women have been back, providing food and litter-box cleaning.
“I went for a second showing to make sure the cats are OK,” Hahamy said.
Sweeney has insisted Norris find the cats a better home. She’s not willing to take on the cats yet, because they may need veterinary care, and it’s not fair to sock the taxpayers with that.
On top of that, one of the adult cats appears pregnant. In Illinois, animals are the property of their owners and can’t be taken away until a certain level of cruelty occurs.
Both Hahamy and Hofman said they would offer to take the cats, but have dogs at their homes.
Norris said Tuesday that he hasn’t had any luck placing the cats yet, but he hasn’t yet called all the shelter numbers Sweeney gave him.
“I’m certainly trying to find a good home for the animals,” he said.