More than 100 cats rescued, 55 found dead in Gahanna home


The Humane Society of Columbus rescued more than 100 cats from a Gahanna home Wednesday morning. Workers said the cats were living in “deplorable conditions.”

“Well, if you can imagine a residence with 100 cats inside, conditions were quite deplorable for the animals especially for the human leaving inside,” said the Humane Society of Columbus Chief Kerry Manion.

The homeowner hoarding all these cats, 60-year-old Daniel Slyby was charged in the case. Our cameras caught him crying as he stood by the humane society van, watching his cats taken away.

“Most people do have bonding and attachments to pets, it can be emotional we understand that and then you have to do right by the animals,” said Chief Manion.

The initial count revealed that 90 cats were rescued from Slyby’s home and neighbors couldn’t believe it.

“90?! It’s almost 100 cats! Two or three is OK but not 90! Whoa,” said Frances, a neighbor who lives across the street.

According to the Humane Society, 166 cats were recovered. Unfortunately, 55 of them were found dead inside the home.

“We believe it was a concerned neighbor that called about the smell from having cats,” said Shelia Murphy with the Gahanna Police.

Frances did not call the police on her neighbor but she said the smell was overbearing. She told us she would see the homeowner trying to disguise the odor too.

“In the evenings, my son would come over and I would say, ‘David, do you smell that odor coming from there?’ But he (homeowner) gets out there and hose that stuff up, works himself to death,” said Frances.

Recovering 111 living cats is adding an extra strain on the Humane Society. They said they had to close adoption Wednesday just to focus solely on this case and help these cats.

“We’re going to do the best we can to give these animals tender loving care but it is a drain on Human Resources at the humane society and financial resources,” said Chief Manion. Currently, there are 64 adoptable cats at the society but now they have to care for the additional 100 plus coming in.

The conditions of the cats recovered is still unknown.

If the homeowner is convicted of violating city ordinance he could face a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.

The rescued cats are not ready for adoption. The Humane Society said they have to wait until the homeowner goes to court next week, then they can assess the next steps.

If you would like to adopt other cats at the Humane Society they are currently 64 cats ready for adoption and costs $5. For more information visit

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