TEMPERANCE, Mich. – Animal rescue officials said they removed 40 cats from a neglectful situation inside a single-family home in Monroe County.
The discovery was made recently at a home in the Temperance area, according to Friends of Companion Animals, a volunteer, nonprofit, all-cats rescue and adoption center.
Officials said they learned that the homeowner had 40 total cats in a building that included dogs, 20 adults, 17 kittens, and three nursing mother cats. When shelter officials reached out to the resident, they learned that person was unable to care for all the animals due to financial struggles.
An acquaintance of the resident paid to have two of the 40 cats altered so they could be returned, but veterinarians said they were “gravely concerned” about the well-being of the animals, according to Friends of Companion Animals.
The veterinarians suggested reporting the case to animal control for possible prosecution, but the shelter director said she simply wanted to get the cats to safety, since the resident had willingly worked with them to address the situation.
Over the course of a few weeks, Friends of Companion Animals officials removed the cats from the home and provided them health care. They said the cats all required spay/neutering and medication for upper respiratory infections.
This was the largest rescue ever for Friends of Companion Animals, officials said.
Shelter director Penny Bly said this situation started off as someone trying to help cats, but it escalated into a hoarding case.
“Don’t misunderstand: It’s always wonderful when the community wants to help cats in the area,” Bly said. “But you need to know your limits. Saving animals means more than just giving it a little food now and then and some shelter. It also means regular check-ups and providing extended care should they need it. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in this case, but we’re trying to make it right and we hope that the community pitches in to help these cats.”
Since the litters were breeding with one another, some of the cats have health issues, Bly said. One kitten, Charlie, was born with no eyes, and another cat, Spencer, had a rare bladder condition that hadn’t been addressed, she said.
Charlie found a home with a vet tech, but Spencer had to be euthanized since he never received the operation that could have saved him earlier in his life, according to Friends of Companion Animals.
“This project so far is over $5,000 and growing,” Bly said. “Add in the fact that the shelter, which we purchased in 2020, is seeking donations for a new roof, funds are tight, to say the least. That means every donation goes a long way in keeping the rescue going.”
Friends of Companion Animals is hosting a rummage sale from noon to 5 pm Aug. 17-20 to try to raise money. It’s located at 2532 North Dixie Highway in Monroe.
Most of the cats are socialized and friendly, Bly said. Anyone who would like to adopt them, make a donation, or become a volunteer can do so by clicking here. Adult cats can be adopted for $60 each or $100 for two in July and August, while kittens are $90 each or $150 for two during that time.
“As we often tell people, get cats in pairs,” Bly said. “It’s not a sales gimmick. Cats really do better together, and since we have an abundance of felines, it’s perfect. Costs to run the rescue are rising, and next month, we’ll probably have to raise our prices, as well. So right now is a good time to get yourself a new family member of the four-legged kind.”
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