WINSTED, CT — Nearly 10 days ago, an animal control officer went to a home in Winsted after receiving a complaint. What she found was more than 150 cats inside a house, many in varying states of health. It wasn’t until some five days later, that the town took action and began removing the cats from the house, as Patch was the first to report.
Read the full story here.
“There is nothing opaque about this process: we continue to handle this situation in a clear, open, honest, and transparent manner,” Winchester Town Manager Josh Kelly wrote Sunday. Eight days after the initial visit to the house by Winsted/Winchester police Animal Control Officer Alicia Campbell. “We’re dealing with an situation that calls for an response.”
Now, with a majority of the cats removed and housed in a local school, the town is looking, not just volunteers and supplies, but families for the felines.
And, the Winchester Town Manager has also alerted people who have had cats “go missing in the area of East Winsted” to reach out with photos and contact information to see if folks’ missing cats are among those found in the home.
Town Manager Josh Kelly said that it’s important that anyone coming to adopt cats that have been rescued know exactly what they are getting into.
An adoption event is slated for Monday from 6 pm to 8 pm at Batcheller School, 201 Pratt St. in Winsted.
“We are NOT sending cats out the door with strangers tonight,” he said, noting that folks must be “fully informed.”
“Given the sheer volume of cats currently in our possession and a lack of ability for us to get these cats to a shelter, this is the best opportunity we have to get cats into happy, healthy homes as soon as possible,” Kelly said. He added there will be an application process to “verify backgrounds of prospective adopters and get these cats fixed and healthy with all their needed shots and medical attention,” he said.
The cats that will go up for adoption have had a rabies shot, their first treatment for flas, and have been seen for a basic physical exam by a vet, Kelly said.
“Beyond that, some cats have been prescribed medications to help address infections,” he said. Kelly stressed that the cats are adopted “as is” and their medical care is the responsibility of the family adopting them.
All applicants will be required to both “thoroughly fill out an application that does include a full and through reference/vet check and sign a binding contract that commits the family to have the cat fixed and seen by a vet for shots and care,” Kelly said.
And then, those adoptive families must “send confirmation of these actions to the Town.” If folks don’t comply within 60 days, the cat will be taken back.
“Cats will only go to happy, healthy homes, and we’re going to work diligently on background checks and with vets to make sure that these cats are placed in a home where they’ll not just survive, but thrive,” Kelly said .
Meanwhile, about those missing cats
Kelly said that folks in the area who have had a cat, or cats “go missing,” should contact him.
“I have already responded cases to over a dozen of these and begun circulating pictures to volunteers to check on the cats we have, but know that so far none of the cats reported as missing have been found,” he said. “Many of the cats from this situation are younger and may have been born in the house. We will continue to do our due diligence to follow up on all these situations.”
It’s not clear if the town believes that wandering cats who had homes were plucked from streets, yards.
Donations are needed, mostly money
“One thing desperately need right now is monetary support to help pay for medical costs and getting cats fixed,” Kelly said.
Cash donations can be dropped off and checks can be dropped off or mailed to 338 Main Street, Winsted, CT 06098. Checks should be made out to “Town of Winchester, CT” with “Animal Care” in the memo line.