It was a horrible situation that went on for decades, according to some neighbors. Many of the cats were very sick.
There were remains of dead animals saved in plastic containers and a garden tub was filled with feces.
Although dozens of complaints were made, no action was taken until recently, when area officials and the new property management asked HSHV to rescue the cats. (HSHV’s jurisdiction to enforce animal cruelty laws does not include Plymouth.)
Using 'bad cop' tag/label because someone dropped the ball and refused to do their job to help this elderly man and all the cats and kittens that suffered and died while locked inside this house of horrors.
“It is regrettable that this situation went on for so long,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s president and CEO. “The conditions that go along with animal hoarding violate state animal cruelty laws and cause immense suffering for the animals. It also indicates that a person with serious mental health issues is not getting the help they need.
"Animal hoarding should always be taken seriously and unfortunately requires criminal prosecution to ensure that necessary treatment and monitoring is provided. Sadly, all went without help for a very long time.”
“These cats are real survivors and have withstood horrid conditions I doubt many of us could,” said Michele Baxter, HSHV’s cruelty and rescue manager. “We hope the public will come forward to adopt them and give them the loving care they deserve.”
Baxter and the HSHV cruelty investigators pulled the cats from an elderly man’s dilapidated trailer home in which he was living with the cats. The man has been relocated, and the trailer was scheduled for demolition last week.
Lynx Point Siamese mixes, grey tabbies, brown tabbies and more are available for adoption at HSHV. All of them have been spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated and provided with much-needed medical treatment. While some could be house cats, the majority of the rescued cats are not equipped for indoor life. These “barn cats” are free to qualified adopters.
One of the survivors
“Adopting a barn cat can be a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Jessica Vankoningsveld, feline behavior specialist at HSHV. “You’re saving the life of a sterilized cat, while they help scare off pesky rodents. They can help protect the perimeter of your home or the area where you keep horse or chicken feed — we’ve even heard people report that barn cats are what keep their town mice-free.
"Plus, barn cats can make great companions for people and other farm animals. Many barn cats become more social and friendly over time and, though we can’t say for certain with these cats, some ‘barn cats’ end up as house cats.”
One of the survivors
To apply to adopt a free barn cat, go to www.hshv.org. You will be contacted within two business days. HSHV is open for adoptions seven days a week.
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(Hometownlife.com - July 6, 2017)