More than 30 cats will hopefully find loving new homes soon, thanks to a son's courage to turn his father in for animal hoarding. On Thursday, July 24, KOMO 4 News reported that a man in Shoreline, Washington called King County animal control authorities last week to report that his father was living in hoarding conditions with 33 cats and kittens.
The animals were all seized. While it has been difficult to acclimate them to a new environment, now two of the cats, named Kale and Jacob, are ready to find new homes at PAWS Cat City in the University District of Seattle.
"A lot of folks that end up in these hoarding situations really do mean well and they think they're rescuing these cats," stated Cat City caregiver Steph Renaud.
According to Renaud, it is hard for animals who have known no other life other than an animal hoarding situation and it can be difficult to acclimate them to their new lives. "Thirty cats to one human. There's just not enough time to spend with that many cats," she stated.
Cat City, which is a no-kill animal shelter, aids rescued cats by keeping them in social groups. It will take time to help these animals learn what it means to have one-on-one love and attention, but it's a job that Cat City is prepared to take on. Renaud added: "Sometimes there are a little tougher cases that need a little more patience and socialization."
The presence of 33 animals in one living space indicates that this was a potential animal hoarding situation. According to the Hoarding Animals Research Consortium, animal hoarding is a type of animal abuse and can be defined as: having more than the typical number of companion animals; an inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care; with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness, and death, and denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and the human occupants of the home.
The website Pet Abuse notes that there have been nine recorded hoarding cases in the U.S. so far in 2014. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states that animal hoarding is an extreme example of how life-threatening neglect can affect both people and animals.
The HSUS states that there are nearly 250,000 victims of animal hoarding each year. This animal abuse is different from other types of animal cruelty, as the perpetrators don't always recognize the cruelty they're inflict on their animals. Animal hoarders usually believe that they are saving or rescuing the animals that they have, even though the animals are living in abysmal conditions without enough space, food, or water.