Seeing stray cats alongside of the road is just heartbreaking. What’s even more heartbreaking is when they’re dumped on the side of the road. A large group of cats was left in the cold in the middle of winter. However, their story doesn’t end there, and it has a much happier ending than its beginning.
Blocking the Road at Richmond Pond: The Beginning
The start of this story takes place back in January. In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a large group of cats blocked the middle of a snow-covered road around Richmond Pond. However, the cats weren’t just at one road, but at multiple backroads.
One day, Joshua Christman was visiting Richmond Pond when he and his daughter happened to be blocked by the cats.
“Well, I’ve seen a lot of roadblocks, but never made of cats,” Christman said as he approached the scene.
Afterward, Joshua immediately took to social media to ask for help. All in all, 10 cats were on Richmond Shores Road and it got the attention of people affiliated with the Berkshire Humane Society.
How did they find out? Well, Joshua went live on Facebook so people involved with the society saw firsthand what was going on. The video went viral, hearts breaking at the sight of the cats climbing up onto Christman’s truck when they stopped. Without help, the cats were in danger since a large storm was coming that would dump six inches of snow on the ground. The Humane Society went to work to find the cats.
“Those guys did a tremendous job,” he said. “They set the traps, I helped them monitor them, but they did some hard work there and put the traps out, so credit goes to them.”
When all was said and done, 15 cats were found ranging from 6 months to 7 years. Unfortunately according to the Berkshire Humane Society, it was most certainly a dumping situation.
The Good News for the Cats
With the sad story out of the way first, here’s the good news. All of the cats were caught with the help of Joshua. The cats were in poor health but with the help of vets, they are now healthy.
The female cats were named Demi, Dixie, Darla, and Delilah. All names beginning with D. The male cats were named after famous musicians: Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Ben King, George Michael, and Dan Fogelberg.
Currently, one of the male cats, Eric Clapton, still needs to improve his medical condition before he can be adopted. The details on his medical condition are unknown, but he should improve just fine.
The Best Part
So what’s the best part? Joshua was the first to adopt one of the cats. The cat’s name is after local folk singer-songwriter, Arlo Guthrie. Arlo is 10 months old and an orange domestic shorthair. Joshua’s wife, Jessica, saw the cat on the live video, and when they came to visit the cats in the shelter, Arlo climbed onto Jessica’s chest. Arlo knew the family he wanted to go home with!
“It feels really good. My wife saw him on the video and she fell in love with him immediately, I knew we would be coming to get him shortly after.”
Joshua came to pick up Arlo with his wife and two children, Alice and Gabriel. The family also has six other rescues they adopted at their home.
“This is the man, this is the reason why all those cats are so lucky because he saw something, he reported it, and not only did he report it, Josh stayed behind and helped to support it,” Executive Director of Berkshire Humane Society John Perreault said. “It was because of Josh, the reason these cats had the ending that they did for sure.”
Video via WNYT News Channel 13:
Animal Cruelty Charges
On Mar. 2, the Berkshire Humane Society shared a press conference that announced charges for animal cruelty were filed against two people in this case. It appears that Christman was present for the announcement.
“Today MSPCA Law Enforcement, State Police, and Lanesborough Police Department announced 15 animal cruelty charges filed on Feb. 22 against Kelly Hathaway and Arthur Raney, both of Pittsfield who are set to be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Mar. 18. The charges stem from cats found abandoned in Richmond and Lanesborough on Jan. 28. Animal cruelty is a felony in Massachusetts; each count is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000,” shared the Berkshire Humane Society Facebook page.
Cats Abandoned in the Snow
In late March, both defendants pleaded not guilty and agreed not to own any animals again.
“During the arraignment, Hathaway agreed to a condition that she will not own any animals as of March 25 and Raney agreed that he will not own any animals,” reported iBerkshires.com.
According to the report, two cats died, and one remained missing as temperatures were minus-6 to 28 degrees in the winter snowstorm.
Reportedly, Raney agreed to drive Hathaway to two locations to leave the cats because he didn’t want to see her evicted. Her landlord had asked her to remove the cats from an apartment due to an “offensive urine smell” as they sought to sell the building.
Video via WNYT News Channel 13: