2 of my cats are from West Side Cats. This rescue/shelter is amazing. Beautifully designed for the utmost enjoyment of the cats. Very, very clean. Cats a well fed, vetted and loved. The volunteers are incredible. I Can't speak highly enough about the shelter!
Review from Guidestar
The Cat Ladies SOciety was raided a few years ago and changed their name to West Side Cats. Regardless of a name change, they are the same criminals and drug addicts that run the shelter. The cats suffer horribly, get no veterinary care. Monies donated go into Kimm's fund for kitzy cat stuff for the shelter and good food and drink for herself and friends. The cats get nothing!! The idiots that volunteer there are involved in a cult-like following of this freak of nature, Kimm. The intimidation line is that anything you say or do or report will hurt the cats. There is not one rescue in this entire tri-state area that will even go near this place. So Kimm has cats transported from other areas to post online and make money. There are thousands of stray cats in this area. EVERY OTHER RESCUE WOULD RATHER EUTHANIZE THEM THAN GIVE THEM TO KIMM AT WEST SIDE CATS. The animals deserve better than this con artist, transitioning freak are giving them.
This "rescue" allows animals to suffer horribly and does nothing to help them. They took in a cat on Friday, Feb. 26 who had a steel leg trap on its leg. They did NOTHING for this cat but post the horrible pictures to get money. The animal was thrown into a cage and had to wait until Monday to see a veterinarian. There are many vets in this area open on Saturday, in addition to an emergency clinic. This animal had to be in severe pain and have a serious infection. This place is the worst thing to happen to an animal. Their treatment of the animals in indefensible. The "owner" claims she knows as much as any veterinarian and has bragged of performing the spays and neuters herself.
This disgusting place should have been shut down when it was raided a few years ago. Instead, they changed the name, acted as if the people are all new. They are the same group of low life drug addicts that started this group. They are an embarrassment to this area.
Volunteering at West Side Cats is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. This no-kill, volunteer operated rescue and adoption shelter adopts out around 600 cats every year.
The shelter is kept clean. The cats are well fed. We work closely with our veterinarian keeping the cats vaccinated and healthy. This is the only no-kill cat shelter in Youngstown, and we take a great deal of pride in our work. Our income tax returns account for a every penny that the shelter receives and are available on this site and through the office of the Ohio Attorney General, where we are on file as a registered charity.
The person using multiple accounts to post bad reviews on our page is not an evil person. She is simply an individual who is in a bad place mentally and emotionally and has chosen the shelter in general and me in particular as a target for her fixations. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers that she might find her way through her ongoing turmoil to a place of peace and happiness.
Review from Guidestar
I read the previous reviews and can only laugh. In 2010 our organization received a $20,000.00 donation from a local philanthropist and the "old guard" kill-crazy rescue community have been rabid about it ever since.
Using PETA tactics, they dunned the local humane officer with fabricated complaints about our facility. Never having been to the place, he showed up with a news crew to raid it. While he was off getting a warrant (which contained many blatant lies) we invited the news crew in to film our facility. The resulting footage showed happy, healthy cats living in a clean and well-cared-for facility. The humane society crammed our cats into carriers, 7 and 8 to a carrier, threw them onto the back of an open pickup truck and drove them across town to their facility. They left our cats crammed into these carriers for over 8 hours in some cases, then killed them and disposed of their bodies without ever allowing an independant veterinarian to examine them.
The CEO of the humane society and the humane officer went to great lengths to find some offense, ANY offense to charge us with. There was NO evidence of any wrongdoing, cruelty or neglect. The closest they could come was a threat to charge us with felony drug possession - because we were using donated antibiotics. In the end there were no charges filed against our organization and we re-opened after voluntarily closing for six weeks. Interestingly enough, the CEO and the humane officer were let go within months for "budget cuts", even after the humane society received a donation that would have easily covered their salaries. The humane officer has since been fired from his job as Craigs Beach chief of police for brutality, civil rights violations and perjury. He has also been indicted for perjury and obstructing an investigation.
None of our volunteers or board members has ever been arrested for anything.
These nutbars have since stalked our organization relentlessly. They send letters and emails to any individual they identify as friendly to our shelter. They continuously call the PetSmart Corporation and the Niles PetSmart where we are adoption partners. They send anonymous and vaguely threatening mail to my home. They file frivolous lawsuits in Small Claims Court to force financial stress via attorney's fees. They have even driven past our shelter and flung feces at the building.
At Cat Ladies Society (dba West Side Cats) we always have maintained an open door policy. This applies to friends and detractors alike. Stop in, ask for a tour and we will show you anything and everything your heart desires. NO other shelter in this area is willing to do that.
We spend 50 to 60k per year on veterinary expenses alone. We'd also be more than happy to pull up our bank statements and show anybody who asks exactly where their donations go.
This is an update to my original posting. I still volunteer there. I want everyone to know that those people who post poor reviews and don't leave their names are just people looking for trouble. Please don't waste your time reading their reviews. For some reason they have a revenge problem with Kimm. I can guarantee the claims are false - go see for yourself and then judge! You will see that all these claims are false and these unprofessional losers have nothing better to do with their time then try to ruin someone else's life!
I went and visited the West Side Cats today. I was so impressed with what I discovered! Everyone there loves what they do and are 100% dedicated to the wonderful cats and kittens! They are so wonderful! I am pleased to say that I will be volunteering there from here on in! I showed up unannounced and did NOT see any of the negative things that I have seen in other reviews. Come see for yourself like I did - you will fall in love many times over!
The place is a rip-off run by phonies! They will gladly take a generous surrender fee and then provide minimal care (and no vet care) for cats you turn over to them. I surrendered several sweet, abandoned cats I had rescued and had paid to get spayed or neutered, vaccinated, etc. (but couldn't keep permanently in my residence) to this facility for a good-sized donation. I initially believed the smooth-talking head of the place that these cats would either be adopted into good homes or, if not adopted, live long, happy lives there -- and was told I could even visit them from time to time. When I tried to follow up on them several weeks later, a staff member told me they had been adopted. However, her tone of voice was slightly nervous, and her answers were evasive, and my "gut feeling" was that something was very wrong. Eventually I found out from one of this so-called shelter's former volunteers (who I met by chance a number of months later) that these cats had actually gotten very ill and died there in squalid conditions, and without even an attempt at getting them to a vet (or even giving them antibiotics or pain medication). So, if you want to give money to people who will apparently use it for other things rather than the care of the cats you turn over to them, this is the place to do it!
Review from Guidestar
This place is amazing. They work so hard and keep it very clean and smelling good. This is not easy to do with so many cats. They take care of a lot of special needs cats and keep them healthy and happy. The tree room upstairs is fantastic. They took me on a tour and showed me their hospital area. I was especially impressed with the separate laundry and sink for the hospital, so no hospital germs get mixed in with the shelter beds and towels. The ladies seem very dedicated and are very polite and informative. I made a small donation and they thanked me and offered me a receipt for my taxes. The cat in the wheelchair is very well taken care of and seems very loved and happy, as do all of the cats.
I have donated food, litter, garage sale items, towels and cleaning supplies on many occasions. The volunteers are always friendly and even if they are in the middle of cleaning they invite me in to visit and play with the cats.
All of the cats seem bright-eyed and healthy. There is always food and water available for them. The volunteers seem to keep the washers and driers running all the time so the cats have clean towels and beds.
Their clinic area is separated from the rest of the shelter. The sick cats are housed in large, clean cages with cat perches to sit on. They are separated according to what ailments they have. Small baskets clipped to the front of each cage contain the medicine for the cat in that cage and there are cards on each cage saying what medication that animal gets and how often.
All of the volunteers seemed very devoted to the cats and knew them by name and personality traits. These people work very hard keeping the place clean and smelling good, even though most of them are elderly or disabled.
I have been visiting this shelter at least monthly for approximately two years. My visits are unannounced and on different days of the week and at different times during the day. The cats/kittens and the shelter have always been in good condition, and every volunteer I've spoken to has been friendly, caring and knowledgeable. I ask anyone reading these reviews to stop by the shelter to see it in person, if they live in the Youngstown area. If you are not able to visit the shelter, I ask that you do not base your opinion on any negative reviews you read here or negative comments posted on social media sites. The shelter and its volunteers are helping, not hurting, cats, and it is not a "hellhole" as another reviewer stated - it's a typical cat shelter. It appears some are posting negative comments because they dislike certain individuals affiliated with the shelter. It's sad, because ultimately, it's the cats and kittens waiting for their forever homes that are being hurt. My husband and I are cat lovers with three cats in our family, and we would not hesitate to adopt from the shelter when the time comes to add another member to the family.
I drop off donations at lots of different times and without notice. Whenever I've come the shelter is clean or being cleaned if it's early in the morning. The cats are very well fed and healthy. The facility is beautiful. Most of these women are elderly or handicapped and they work very hard to maintain the shelter and care for the cats. This shelter is a tax-exempt non-profit, and they always offer me a receipt when I donate.