The warden and two officers entered and found the rooms strewn with clothes and dog feces. There was a child's wading pool in the front room that held brown water. They videotaped and photographed the scene.
"Every room in the house from the second floor bedrooms to the basement had animal feces on the floor and on the furniture," Patrolman Brad Lender wrote. "The second floor master bedroom had a few inches of dog feces packed down on the floor."
City Building Department official Charlie Boshane arrived and declared the house unsanitary and uninhabitable and placed a "NO OCCUPANCY" sign on it. Police contacted the county child welfare agency to report the conditions that the Freidman daughters had been living in. Their ages are 20, 16 and 15. A 22-year-old brother had moved out.
Initially, the officers found 23 puppies and dogs, six living cats, two dead cats, two guinea pigs, a rabbit and three birds. Two more dogs were confiscated later.
The city called the Solon Veterinary Clinic on Richmond Road, took all of the animals there and told Dr. Don Bartels to euthanize them because they were abandoned and had fleas, Bartels said today. He said the animals were mixed breeds that had not been groomed. He said one parakeet was spared because the warden had found it home.
Officers were sent to the house again Sunday afternoon and found that the family had returned during the night. Steven Friedman claimed that Sgt. Dale Bunjevac had given him permission to be in the house. Bunjavac said he had not. The family was told to go to the police station for questioning. They met with the prosecutor and made other living arrangements. Children services was told where the family would be living.
Friedman said the family had gone to Boynton Beach, Fla., to help his mother-in-law after the death of his father-in-law.
He said he left food bags and the baby pool of water for the animals. He also said they had accumulated too many animals, had financial difficulties and couldn't afford to surrender the animals. He told police that there was another dog in the house. It was surrendered and euthanized.
Heidi Friedman told police that she had bad knees and could only climb the steps to the bedrooms once a day. She signed a statement that said the house was not in bad condition when she left for Florida.