By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Park County Animal Shelter has been inundated this week with more than 30 cats rescued from a recent hoarding case, an official told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.
Shelter Outreach Manager Jackie Hinther said 35 cats were brought to the shelter over several days this week as they were recovered from the home involved in the case. She added the owner of the cats surrendered the animals.
“(Cody Animal Control) Officer (Jennifer) Morris and I went into the home to assess the situation on Monday and determined the living environment was not healthy for cats,” Hinther said. “The owner was very cooperative in signing the cats over to us.”
On Monday, animal shelter employees were able to catch 12 cats — four adults and eight kittens. On Tuesday, 17 cats of all ages were caught.
“We left two live traps and two cat carriers with the owner (who) brought us in six more cats,” Hinther said. “After that, we are now unable to take any more. There are still 10 cats in the house.”
Animal shelter employees are currently working with the cats’ owner to get the final 10 spayed or neutered.
The cats taken to the shelter from the home range in age from a few days to adults.
Hinther said that despite the condition of the home, the cats are in relatively good condition, although four cats have a genetic condition where their eyes are too small for their heads.
She added that a number of the cats have minor upper respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing or “goopy” eyes.” All will need to be vaccinated, dewormed and spayed or neutered.
All of the cats are now available for adoption, save for one mother cat and her newborn kittens.
The cats will be unable to leave the shelter until they have been spayed or neutered, although prospective new owners can still come meet them at the shelter now and put down money to adopt them.
With the sharp increase of cats in the shelter, Hinther asked anyone who is willing to give to help in one of several ways.
“We are in desperate need of monetary donations, supplies, and volunteers,” she said. “For monetary donations, they can go to our website, stop in or give us a call to donate. We need volunteers to help us clean our cat area in the mornings.”
The case is similar to hoarding incidents reported recently in Lovell, where 12 dogs were seized, and in Cheyenne, where 60 large dogs were taken to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.