Elderly neighbor with 5 pets is in hospital not expected to recover. Mans family had to leave the state and "left food out" for the animals. What can I do?

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This man lived alone; has no family in state; seems to have no close ties with anyone. The rescue shelter would be perfect, if there were no "legal" blocks. At man's sons call to Shelter, they declined to assist, saying formal Pwr of Atty and/or Death Cert would be required. He was told (don't know by what agency) the 5 cats have to remain at the now empty home until landlord takes action due to future failure to pay rent. Although he left out food and water, it's likely they will starve, get sick in their filth or wander off and then starve. Is there any intervening a neighbor can do without legal risk to self?

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Are the cats inside or outside? or is there a pet door where they are free to come and go?

I would be very careful about getting a "rescue shelter" involved, as even the ones that identify themselves as "no kill" sometimes euthanize -- especially if the cats have socialization or health issues. You might want to contact Alley Cat Allies - http://www.alleycat.org for more information and help.
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