It’s not an unusual tale – someone moves out or gets evicted and their pet or pets get left behind. The unusual twist in Chicago’s Belmont Central neighborhood today is that the person that was evicted had been hoarding cats. Now, Tree House Humane Society and Chicago Animal Care and Control are working against the clock to trap over 100 cats left behind in the Chicago cat hoarder house.
If you caught any of the news today, you could see the video of the cats – lots and lots of mainly black cats – coming and going from the house. Although the resident was evited, windows were left open so the cats could come and go. And, come and go (and multiply) is what they have been doing.
“This is an all-too-familiar case in which individuals begin with two or three cats who are unsterilized and the cats begin having litters of kittens,” said Tree House Humane Society Executive Director, Dave de Funiak. “The number of cats grows rapidly and becomes too much to handle. Unfortunately, individuals are often in denial of the larger issue or too ashamed to ask for help before the problem is out of control. While Tree House has worked on many hoarding cases, this is certainly a challenging one given the number of cats as well as the time sensitive nature of the rescue effort.”
After Tree House was recently alerted of the situation at the Chicago cat hoarder house, they started to humanely trap the cats. The former property owner and some of the neighbors were reportedly continuing to provide some food for the cats. Last week 14 cats were trapped and vetted. Many of those cats have already found homes.
Another 17 have been pulled today and taken to a triage area for further care. Tree House is also working to find adequate placement (including foster homes) for the animals given both Tree House and CACC have limited capacity to admit such a large number of cats at once.
The clock is ticking because a judge has ordered that the home be boarded up tomorrow. However, that judge has ordered that the home not be boarded until the cats are all pulled from the home. Today, it was rescuers in Haz-Mat suits working to rescue as many cats as they could.
Tree House needs help in many ways – fosters, donations and other items (Amazon list here). Learn more on how to help here. Because it is kitten season, both Tree House and CACC are limited in the number of cats they may will able to take in.
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