Firefighters came across the first collection of animals Monday when they responded to a kitchen fire, Antioch Animal Services Supervisor Monika Helgemo said.
Contra Costa County Fire District officials asked police to come to the house in the 1800 block of Terrace Drive, just off East 18th Street, where there were 50 cats, according to a news release that Sgt. Shawn Morin issued late Friday afternoon.
Since then, those officers have returned to the home several times to trap the remaining four.
“They appear to be fairly healthy,” Helgemo said, noting that although the cats have fleas and roughly half of them are feral, their weight and the condition of their coats indicate they were all fairly well cared for.
All the cats are currently at the shelter, which hopes to adopt some of them out as “barn cats” to people who need help controlling the rodent population in storerooms and warehouses, Helgemo said. Some of the others might make good indoor pets for families, she added.
SECOND HOARDING CASE
In the second case, police were dispatched about 3:30 p.m. Thursday to a home in the 900 block of Barnsley Court, off G Street, to check on the condition of animals that were reported to be living there.
Officers discovered a veritable menagerie that included not only numerous cats but a couple of ducks, several doves, a hen and rooster, four dogs and about half a dozen rabbits, Helgemo said.
Once again animal control officers responded and, with the help of those living in the house, rounded up 27 of the animals.
They trapped two more cats Friday, and as of Friday afternoon about a dozen were still in the house, Morin said.
The sudden influx of animals is putting a strain on the shelter, which is understaffed and now over capacity, Helgemo said.
The facility was just returning to a degree of normalcy following kitten season and a spike in the number of pets that ended up there after they were spooked by fireworks, she said.
To date, only one rescue group has been able to help by taking in a litter of kittens; the others already have as many animals as they can handle, Helgemo said.
Both incidents are still under investigation.
Anyone interested in fostering or adopting some of these animals can call Antioch Animal Services at 925-779-6989 or email Animal Services Supervisor Monika Helgemo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located at 300 L St., the shelter is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, as well as on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Fridays it is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is closed on Sunday and Monday.
(East Bay Times - July 21, 2017)