Hermiston Man Charged with Animal Neglect

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A Hermiston man was arrested Tuesday on a charge of animal neglect after officers found 14 cats in his home, three of whom were dead and several others in need of medical attention.

David Zehner, 57, 141 N.E. Seventh St., was charged with first-degree animal neglect. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said officers responded to Zehner’s residence around 12:50 p.m. on a report of possible animal neglect.

Officers found three dead cats and two needing medical help among the 14 in the residence. Edmiston said Zehner was cooperative with the officers, but was eventually lodged in the Umatilla County Jail. Pet Rescue responded to the scene and removed the cats from the home.

“Though minimum care as defined by statute can be very subjective and is often the cause of varying opinions, it was clear based on the conditions our officers found the animals to be living in (that) minimum care was not being met for these animals,” Edmiston said.