Spokane neighbors outraged over animal treatment

Neighbors say cats trapped in...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane neighbors are desperate to find help for several cats living inside an abandoned home with no running water along West Kiernan Avenue.

Spokane's Office of Neighborhood Code Enforcement says the home is unsafe and unsanitary, and ordered the couple living inside to leave after they neglected to make critical repairs on the home which has no electricity.

Karen Gendron is one of several neighbors concerned about what's happening next door.

They're meowing, they're crying, and there's nothing we can do."

Gendron said the home has been a breeding ground for feral cats over the last several years, and neighbors have taken matters into their own hands by trapping stray cats and taking them to SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service).

"Between capturing them for SCRAPS, to having them fixed, to finding homes - I've probably taken in, over the years, hundreds," Gendron said.

She's even taken some to the vet for medical care which has cost her thousands of dollars. One cat needed a leg amputated.

"They are being mistreated and it's just cruel, and they have no choice," Gendron said. "I wish SCRAPS would do something about this situation because they are well aware of it."

SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said animal protection officers have responded to 18 complaints at the house since 2015 - but in each case, officers found the cats to be healthy and cared for.  

On December 31, officers spoke to a man who used to live inside the home. He told officers that he comes every other day to feed and water the animals, but neighbors are skeptical - they claim the animals look healthy because they are the ones leaving food out.

SCRAPS left a notice at the home on Monday giving the man who cares for the animals 36 hours to respond. If the notice goes unanswered, SCRAPS may request a warrant to remove the cats.