Kentucky animal rescuers charged with animal cruelty

A pet rescue organization has shut down and its operators have been charged with animal cruelty after the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it found cats and dogs living in “appalling conditions” .

MPs executing a search warrant found 102 dogs and 150 cats at CATS, which stands for Caring About Treasured Strays, on Ky. 213 in Jeffersonville on Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

“Several of the animals were suffering from diseases … and living in appalling conditions,” the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said it received complaints about mistreated animals at the facility, prompting investigators to get the warrant.

The sheriff’s office said it did not share photos because they were too graphic. The animals have been removed from the site and will receive treatment, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said he was assisted by an independent veterinarian and the organization Guardians of the rescue.

Renee Ann Zaharie, 60, and William Brian Zaharie, 65, both of Jeffersonville, have been charged with second degree animal cruelty. They are expected to be brought to justice on May 17, according to court records.

An article on the CATS Facebook page Thursday morning said simply: “adoptions and admissions are suspended until further notice”.

Fans quickly took to the operators’ defense, sharing stories of pets they adopted via CATS

Renee Zaharie said Friday night that she would like to have help from volunteers with cleanup and organization as she prepares to move into a new, larger building.

This story was originally published April 16, 2021 8:55 pm.

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