Hoarding cases are always upsetting, but in one home in Parsippany, New Jersey rescuers were inundated with the smell of cat urine before they even entered. Once inside, the smell became overwhelming, burning people’s eyes, noses, and throats. The cats and kittens trapped inside were forced to walk across floors where the filth was so thick you couldn’t see the bottom.
The Hoarding Conditions Were Shocking.
For those of us who love cats, the idea of this is nightmarish. Imagine how awful this was for the cats inside. At least 25 cats and kittens were trapped in one room and had endured this for months. They were forced to defecate and urinate all over the floor. For responsible cat owners, the absolute horror of this situation is hard to imagine. Not only was the waste inside several inches thick, but windows inside the house were sealed shut and the smell of urine was so strong it was difficult to breathe without a respirator, Parsippany Focus reports.
Hundreds of paper plates used to feed these poor cats were strewn across the floor. The cats hid inside the ceiling, on shelves, and under cabinets in order to avoid the filth.
As if this horror wasn’t bad enough, newborn kittens were also found inside the home. Some deceased cats were concealed within the mess.
It Was The Middle Of Kitten Season And Shelters Were Overflowing.
This was smack in the middle of kitten season. Nearly all of the rescues and animal shelters were jam-packed with animals needing homes. Fortunately, Wise Animal Rescue was able to step in. Investigators and animal care specialists with the organization jumped in immediately, devising a plan for trapping the cats. On the first day of operations, they successfully trapped five kittens and five adult cats.
The cats were relocated to a safe, clean air-conditioned room that was also outfitted with an extracting ventilation system. For probably the first time in their lives, they were cared for. Several kittens were taken to the vet on June 24. Other cats were spayed, although one mama cat was still lactating. Additionally, two cats would have given birth if the shelter hadn’t intervened.
A Light In The Darkness.
One of the traumatized cats was so still that rescuers actually thought he was dead.
When the orange cat was found, he was trapped behind a litter box and a wall and lying on a mound of feces. Everyone thought he was dead but when someone poked him he moved. The rescuers scooped him up quickly, happy to find a little light in such darkness. Soon he was taken to the vet and found a home almost immediately.
“It has been such an emotional time, this just made us cry happy tears,” the rescue said.
We’re crying along with them. Far too often the situation doesn’t end well for animals being hoarded. It’s estimated that at least 3000 cases of animal hoarding are reported yearly in the U.S., involving at the very minimum at least 250,000 animals, Manhattan Cat Specialists report. However, that estimate is low because most hoarders are very secretive, meaning many cases go undetected. What’s worse is that most experts believe hoarding cases are increasing.
Why is that?
But perhaps the saddest fact about animal hoarding is this:
“There is a great disconnect between what the hoarder thinks and the reality of the situation,” said Dr. Anne Sinclair, veterinarian, and owner of Cat Sense Feline Hospital and Boarding in Bel Air, Maryland. “They believe they are providing good care, when in fact the animals are usually starving, diseased, and dying.”
Quite understandably, hoarding is considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. If you suspect someone is hoarding cats or other animals the ASPCA has guidelines you can follow in order to get help, which you can check out here.
We hope these cats are safe and receiving the love and care they deserve. Whether they end up as happy indoor cats or working barn cats, as some are turning out to be. And we will always fight for cats victimized by hoarding.
Photos property of Wise Animal Rescue/Facebook