Monday, September 28, 2009

At least 15 cats, 10 dogs seized from Bloomington home

By Michele Steinbacher

BLOOMINGTON - At least 25 animals were seized Monday from a home on the corner of Seminary and Morris avenues.

McLean County animal control staff took at least 15 cats and 10 dogs from 1201 W. Seminary Ave., a home owned by Julie Hernandez, said George Boyle, Bloomington's assistant city attorney. He expected the total number of cats to increase when a final tally is released.

Specialists wearing protective gear loaded pet carriers and cages onto trucks. Bloomington police were on scene.

The Humane Society of Central Illinois in Normal was expected to care for the dogs, which included two adult dogs and eight puppies, said Boyle. The cats went to the county's animal control shelter.

Bloomington ordinance allows only three cats and/or dogs in a home, unless it is an approved kennel. Litters of kittens puppies younger than four months are exempt.

Pet owners also need to have proof of registration and vaccination for each cat and dog.

Hernandez faces possible fines of $250 for each ordinance violation for each animal. Boyle said none had been registered or vaccinated.

Boyle said the city seized the animals only after a search warrant was issued Thursday. That followed failed attempts to solve the problem with Hernandez, first by discussion and later with a Sept. 18 letter.

"We were getting complaints not only about vehicles at the property, but also pertaining to a smell coming from the house," he said..." More