WBTV reports that a home in Iredell Co, NC was visited by animal control officers in May:
They found 23 cats and the house was clean. Months later conditions got bad.
How bad? Supposedly there were 198 cats and 3 dogs at the home yesterday when AC came with a warrant and seized all the pets. WBTV states 15 will be killed. Cruelty charges are pending against the owner.
Chris Royal, director of the Iredell County pound says some of the cats have ringworm. And although she runs a gassing facility which killed 87% of the 3153 cats it received last year, she uses this media opportunity to chide the public regarding neutering:
“This just goes to show you,” Royal said. “If they would have their cat spayed or neutered, they would not have had the problem they have – 198, that is a lot of animals.”
Would neutering keep them out of your gas chamber? I didn’t think so.
WSOC is reporting different numbers. When AC visited in spring, they found “30 – 40 cats” and clean conditions. WSOC also says 50 cats are sick and will be killed. But they have the same total figures.
Whatever the exact numbers were a few months ago, it’s a staggering increase to get to 198 today and not explainable solely by a failure to neuter. Neither report includes images from conditions inside the home and the cats pictured at the pound appear to be in good health. I don’t know if the 15 (or 50) cats “have to” get stuffed into the gas chamber for ringworm or if there has been some other eyeball diagnosis by a layman that they are using as an excuse for killing instead of treatment. But the director says they don’t have room for the cats and given her track record on killing, I fear for the non-ringworm cats. Assuming the pound does no better and no worse than they did with their cats in 2011, that would mean at least 87% (probably more since RTO is not an option for any of them) will be killed.
Could the owner have been offered assistance with spay-neuter, education, and placement of some of the cats, allowing her to keep a smaller number which AC could monitor in future? Seizing these cats is kinder to them than leaving them where they were – how exactly? If even one of the healthy/treatable cats goes into the gas chamber at the pound, I call this entire operation an epic fail.
(Thank you Lisa for alerting me to this story.)