MERRILLVILLE | David Kotulak is fond of the many cats that fill his Merrillville home, but he understands he must part ways with most of them.
Kotulak said he has about 30 cats living with him. Town code states any building housing four or more animals is considered a kennel.
"I'm not trying to run a kennel," Kotulak said.
He was notified last week in Merrillville Town Court that he can keep up to three cats, but he must find new homes for the remaining animals by June 4.
The Treasured Friends animal rescue has been assisting Kotulak, said Sandi Litke, vice president of the group.
Litke said there were more than 60 cats at one time living in the home.
Members of the rescue took some of the animals. Deanne Dzikowski, a Treasured Friends member, said some of the cats also were taken to local animal shelters.
Dzikowski said many shelters are at capacity, so Treasured Friends is hoping to find other animal rescue groups that can care for the cats that must be removed.
Dzikowski and Litke fear animals not removed by the June 4 deadline could be euthanized.
Town Attorney Michael Deppe said euthanizing the animals is the last thing he wants to happen, but it hasn't been ruled out.
Litke said Merrillville officials have been helpful as Kotulak and Treasured Friends look to find new homes for the pets.
"The town has been very nice," Litke said, "They have given (Kotulak) ample time."
Kotulak said he has had cats since 2008. He didn't always have a large number of animals in the house, but the population grew because some cats had kittens.
Kotulak said the cats living with him have since been spayed and neutered.
He said the animals are affectionate and they often play games.
When he provides the cats with new items to play with, "it's just like bringing kids toys at Christmastime," Kotulak said.
Rescue groups interested in caring for any of the cats can call Treasured Friends at (219) 381-8562.