28 cats seized from Middletown animal rescue - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

28 cats seized from Middletown animal rescue

Cats seized from Middletown rescue sanctuary. (Butler County Sheriff's Office) Cats seized from Middletown rescue sanctuary. (Butler County Sheriff's Office)
MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) -

The owner of a non-profit animal rescue sanctuary is facing 6-misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after nearly 30 cats were removed from her property.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office claims Lesli Martin of Heart’s Rescue Sanctuary in Middletown has not properly cared for the 49 cats her non-profit hosts.

“She was charged [Wednesday] with two counts of animal cruelty and upon our investigation when the cats got here we could have our vet look at them, she was charged with an additional four counts of animal cruelty,” Deputy Patricia Todd of the Dog Warden’s office said.

“This has nothing to do with animal cruelty, nothing to do with it,” Martin said. “This is about two little kittens that had some problems, just like a baby or a child, they had problems and they had a vet appointment.”

Martin told FOX19 NOW the vet appointment was scheduled for the same day the sheriff’s office came and seized 28 cats from her business.

“I’ve got $36,000 worth of receipts for vet bills on every animal that’s come through there in a year,” Martin said.

“We had to humanely euthanize six of them that medical care was something a little bit more than what we could provide for them and we’re still in the process of having our vet look at them and see what medical attention they do need,” Deputy Todd said.

“Maybe sometimes we’ve held on a little too much with a bleeding heart, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have the best intentions for them and that we didn’t try,” Martin’s daughter and Heart’s Rescue Sanctuary Volunteer Jessica Benjamin said.

The non-profit owner is also claiming the sheriff’s office was wrong when they posted about the incident to their Facebook page. Martin said the post was incorrect about her age and the fact that she was arrested.

“I didn’t see the post, my daughter called me and told me about the post and I was livid,” Martin said. ”I mean, I was not arrested. I’m not 51, I’m 52. I was just livid, I mean the story is wrong.”

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