Animal welfare officials are asking for the public’s help following a massive intake of neglected cats from Camden, Delaware.
On Thursday, Sept. 10, officers from the state’s Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) responded to a Kent County property, where 182 cats and one dog were seized from a suspected animal cruelty case. One deceased cat was also recovered.
OAW executed a search warrant after receiving a tip from the public about cats living in deplorable conditions.
Animal welfare officers and Brandywine Valley SPCA staff worked to safely remove the animals, who were transferred to the shelter for further evaluation and treatment.
The rescue is believed to be the largest single hoarding case seizure in Delaware’s history.
Shelter officials called the cost of such an intake — including boarding for some of the cats and medical care for nearly 200 animals — “significant.”
“Many of the cats are underweight, many have flea dermatitis,” said Walt Fenstermacher, the BVSPCA’s director of programs, who helped lead the shelter’s intake. “Some have upper respiratory infections, all of which are fortunately treatable.”
An investigation by the OAW is ongoing, and charges are pending.
The BVSPCA, Delaware’s only no-kill open admission shelter, is now putting out a call for adopters.
Since Thursday’s raid, BVSPCA staff has been working to help cats recover and prepare for a better life.
Most of the cats are “remarkably comfortable” with humans, according to BVSPCA CEO Adam Lamb.
As of Tuesday, the nonprofit will have cats from the case up for adoption at all of its shelter locations.
“If you’ve been considering adopting,” BVSPCA officials said, “now’s the time to completely transform a cat’s life.”
ICYMI: The 182 cats recently rescued from neglect are starting to become available for adoption! We’ve already had a few people step up to the plate, but there are many more still looking for a second chance at life. Stop by any of our shelters to meet them! #CatsOfTwitter pic.twitter.com/OFy4EP98y9
— BrandywineValleySPCA (@BrandywineSPCA) September 18, 2020
Outside of seeking adopters for family cats, the shelter has a critical need for “working cat” placements for those who may be undersocialized, said BVSPCA spokesperson Linda Torelli.
“Many of these cats haven’t known the companionship of humans and may prefer to live an independent life,” Torelli explained.
The shelter is searching for adopters who can provide a cat with a safe environment where they can “live on their own terms,” while offering “natural rodent control” in return, Torelli said.
Non-traditional spaces for working cats include barns, warehouses, firehouses, breweries, churches, and art studios.