As many as 5,000. That is the astounding number of cats that could be produced by only two unaltered adult cats in merely five short years. Why am I citing this worrying statistic besides pointing out the need for you to spay/neuter your cats?

Because we are now involved in a desperate situation and we need your help.

We are assisting a “hoarder in the making” who took in 16 kittens in the summer of 2012. This person had no money for vaccinations, FeLV/FIV testing, flea treatments, medications or spay/neuter surgeries – and on top of this, considering the startling breeding statistic above – you can just imagine how this could turn into a dire situation very quickly. With (thankfully) only two litters produced, the number of cats in the household is now up to 23.

Deven - a kitten who had kittens.

Deven – a kitten who had kittens. Happily spayed and up to date on vaccinations now.

What makes this person a “hoarder-in-the-making” and not a bona fide hoarder? The plea for help. This is often the hardest thing for a hoarder to do. And though it is a difficult situation, we are thankful that this person chose to finally reach out for help – before it was way too late. It goes without saying: this never should have happened at all.

Wikipedia defines animal hoarding as “keeping a higher-than-usual number of animals as domestic pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability.”

And for this case, having two out of the three “hoarder characteristics” has created a bad situation.

In a 1999 study Dr. Patronek, professor Tufts University defined animal hoarders:

People who accumulate a large number of animals; fail to provide minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care; and fail to act on the deteriorating condition of the animals, the environment, and their own health.

Hoarders justify their behavior with the view that the animals are surrogate children and that no one else can care for them. They harbor a fear that if they seek help the animals will be euthanized.

This large number of semi-unsocialized cats, from just one home, that have upper respiratory and eye infections equates to lots of money and time needed to save these cats. It is a doable, but an unfortunate and daunting, task to undertake.

*No sad “before” pictures needed – I’m sure you all have seen your share of sad animal photographs.

The “hoarder in the making” says the kittens came from a shelter in the summer of 2012 and claims that the shelter would not take them back when they were old enough for adoption. However, representatives from the shelter stated the person would always give excuses for not bringing the cats back to the shelter. With the continually-limited shelter resources we are all painfully aware of; man-power and money, the original 16 kittens slipped through the municipal cracks.

Although, can you really blame the shelter manager for not wanting those cats to come back when the ultimate control of the shelter is a non-related department within the town? This is a department that can enter the shelter at any time and say “there are too many animals here, some have got to go.”

Read: bureaucracy + lack of compassion = convenience killing.

Now before you go condemning the shelter manager, firsthand experience tells us that this IS a compassionate person that does care about the animals. Tears are shed whenever an animal is euthanized there. Volunteers are welcomed and given as much responsibility as they can handle – for the benefit of the animals. Medications are purchased, vaccinations are given and somehow the manager keeps a small fund for spay/neuter surgeries. These actions have garnered local support to further improve shelter conditions. But, the improvements will sadly be limited unless the shelter can gain some autonomy from their overseeing department.

Back to the current issue … our “hoarder-in-the-making” is under threat of prosecution and foreclosure and someone needs to step up for these cats and new kittens. That’s where Karma Cat & Zen Dog comes into the picture and why we are reaching out because we need your help.

We don’t have a facility to call our own, so taking on 23 cats and kittens all at once is nearly impossible. HOWEVER, I am happy to say we are working with the shelter to get all of the cats out of the house, vetted and most importantly treated and SPAYED/NEUTERED.

And, yay! Some are already available for adoption: Louisa, AnnaB, Rachelle, Deven, Anya, Oz and Xander!

Anya, Oz & Xander - adopt them!!

Anya, Oz & Xander (3 of the 7 kittens) – adopt them!!

Here’s what you can do! You can help by:

The cats involved in this case include: Rachelle, Deven, Louisa, AnnaB, Kaitlyn, Wally, Anya, Oz, Xander, Angel, Buffy, Cordelia and Faith. Sly has already been placed. Four have already made their way back to the shelter (for adoption), three are with another group, and the shelter is working on the two remaining cats. We will be helping them with the spay/neuter surgeries.

Please help us help them.

Rescued, vetted and now ready for her forever home!

Rescued, vetted and now ready for her forever home!

With hope,

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