Ninety-seven counts of neglect have been filed against the owner of a Cumberland animal rescue organization, according to the Allegany County Animal Rescue Facebook page.
Last week, nearly 100 cats were seized from Charm City Animal Rescue in Allegany County.
Michelle Ingrodi is listed as the operator of Charm City Animal Rescue. According to the website, she started the organization in Baltimore City back in 2009. Several years ago, animal control seized a number of cats from her property in Baltimore, and once again she's finding herself in a similar situation.
“We received a complaint about her home in Frostburg and our animal control officer went to check it out. There were approximately 20 cats there in pretty bad living conditions,” said Becky McClarran, the president, of the Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation. The organization is now caring for the rescued cats.
“Friday, our animal control officer went to her rescue, which is Charm City Animal Rescue here in Cumberland, and we seized another 80 cats there. She still had some cats at home, so it ended up being 97 cats that we seized between her home and her rescue," she said.
Ingrodi also has a record in Baltimore City. According to a release from the Baltimore City Health Department, in 2014, the Baltimore City Office of Animal Control executed a search and seizure warrant on Charm City Animal Rescue at their location on Hudson Street where they removed 35 cats.
Officers found unsanitary conditions, dirty cages, an overwhelming smell, and several cats that appeared unhealthy. That was at least the third time animal control received complaints, according to the release.
In that same year, the address of the rescue listed on tax records changed to Cumberland.
ABC2 tried to contact Ingrodi several times but did not hear back. Despite the allegations, the non-profit is still posting cats for adoption on its Facebook page.
“It's a shame that sometimes animals don't get the care that they deserve,” said McClarran.
For anyone looking to foster or adopt the cats rescued, McClarran said it could take a while.
“At this point, we can't foster out these cats because until it goes to court we technically don't own them, so 97 cats more,” she said.
According to McClarran, charges are pending against Michelle Ingrodi. The Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office said more information will be released by the end of the week.
At this time, the Allegany County Animal Shelter is in desperate need of donations and supplies.
The shelter is asking for monetary donations, wet and dry cat food, littler, cleaning supplies like high efficiency detergent, bleach, and blankets to make the animals comfortable.
The Allegany County Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter. Items may be dropped off at the shelter located at 716 Furnace Street, Cumberland or at Barkin’ Basement Thrift Shop, Virginia Avenue Liquors and Coney Pizza in Lonaconing. Monetary donations may be made online at http://alleganyanimalshelter.com/donate/ or via the mail at ACAS, P.O. Box 566, Cumberland, MD 21501-0566.
Several animal organizations across Maryland offer free spay and neuter services for your pets. For a complete list, click here.