Seventy-three cats rescued from kitten mill
Monday, September 20, 2010
Seventy-three cats were rescued from a residence in Sherburne County on Friday, August 20, 2010, owned by a veteran cat breeder. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office asked for the assistance of Animal Humane Society after receiving complaints regarding animal cruelty and maltreatment in addition to environmental concerns resulting from the neglect of the population of cats.
Upon entering the home, Animal Humane Society’s Humane Investigations team, along with authorities from Sherburne County and a third-party veterinarian brought in by Animal Humane Society for consultation on the case, found a population of free-roaming kittens and adult cats living in uninhabitable conditions, including:
• Inadequate caging and profound overcrowding
• Feces/urine deposited on most surfaces of the home
• Large, overflowing food dishes amidst contaminated surfaces
• Cats with infections and other health problems living with healthy cats
• Lack of proper ventilation for the number of cats present
• Lack of proper treatment of many disease conditions
The care of the cats was severely inadequate. Due to neglect, the unsanitary environment and lack of proper isolation of unhealthy cats, most of the animals found on site were suffering from multiple infections, parasites, and behavior issues including possible neurological disorders. Some of the cats were unable to be handled, many had open wounds, and several were suffering from eye injuries and disease. Young kittens were found, but no mother cat was present in the residence. Medications for the cats were found on the property, but most had expired and appeared unused.
Animal Humane Society immediately transported the cats back to its facility in Golden Valley for complete evaluation and care, including full examinations, needed medical treatment and clean living conditions. After five days, the owner signed a custodial release of the cats turning them over to Animal Humane Society for care and disposition.
A criminal summary report by Humane Agent Keith Streff, in addition to a forensic report completed by the consulting veterinarian, have been submitted to the Sherburne County Prosecutor’s office for charging review.
Unfortunately, many of the cats were not able to be saved. Between Thursday, August 26 and Saturday, August 28, all but nine of the cats were humanely euthanized due to behavior and health issues that posed a risk to not only their quality of life, but to the hundreds of other cats already in the care of Animal Humane Society. It was determined that the stress of overcrowding and removal of the cats would have likely caused disease outbreaks in the future. In addition, many of the cats would remain chronically infected.
Of the nine remaining cats, two are currently in volunteer foster homes while they receive medical treatment and five have been adopted into new homes.
For more information on how you can end the abuse of animals used for breeding, please visit www.animalhumanesociety.org/puppymill.