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Local shelters become overcrowded after police rescue more than 40 dogs from Lakewood home

Police say they must wait for legal ruling before dogs can go to foster homes
Rescued beagles at Lakewood Animal Shelter.
Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-20 23:22:16-05

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — After a long time coming, dozens of dogs now have a new temporary place to rest, thanks to people like Stefanie Valentic.

“I rescued two beagles off of the street from a homeless woman who said they came from this house,” Valentic said.

On Monday, Lakewood Police executed a search warrant at a home in the 1600 block of Waterbury Road following numerous complaints regarding this property.

“After conducting numerous investigations at numerous times of the house, writing reports, we were able to obtain a search warrant yesterday,” said Stone.

When police arrived, the homeowner let officers inside.

The department says they then discovered around 42 dogs, mostly beagles, living in "extremely unsatisfactory conditions.”

“I could tell they were not being cared for,” said Lakewood Police Captain Gary Stone. “They were living in filthy conditions.”

Valentic says she finally felt relieved when officers came in.

Yet, she still felt overwhelmed with emotion as she watched the dogs leave.

“The thing that really struck me about the dogs is that they would come out into the front lawn, and it would be their first time smelling fresh air and feeling grass,” said Valentic.

Stone says the dogs are now safe at Lakewood and Rocky River animal shelters.

But now, there’s a bigger problem.

“We’re very, very overtaxed here but we’re doing our best to deal with this situation one day at a time,” said Stone.

Thankfully, neighbors like Eric Baum are stepping in to help.

“We just had to put my dog down not too long ago, so had some leftover food and figured we would pitch in,” said Baum, a community contributor.

Stone says they have to wait for a legal ruling before the dogs can go to foster homes since they’re still the homeowner’s property.

In the meantime, you can contact or send an email to both animal shelters for donations

“Animals get forgotten about sometimes but it’s Christmas,” said Baum. “You have to get in the Christmas spirit and help out for whatever creatures might be in need.”

READ MORE: Dozens of dogs removed from Lakewood home; property deemed uninhabitable

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