The ASPCA is thrilled to report that 139 adoptions took place at the Elk County Independence Day Adoption Event, and that the remaining cats have been placed with ASPCA partner agencies throughout the country. The nearly 400 severely neglected felines were discovered in late June, living in deplorable conditions at a “sanctuary” known as the Animal Friends of Elk and Cameron Counties in St. Mary’s, PA.
While many of the cats tested positive for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, it didn’t stop families from opening their hearts and homes to many sweet-tempered cats and kittens.
“The community really stepped forward to support this adoption event,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. “One of the most surreal moments of my entire career was standing at the event site wondering if anyone would show up. When a line of 50 people walked up the hill with crates in their hands, I nearly broke down.” The two-day event attracted more than 500 potential adopters.
A crew of nearly 65 first responders, including staff and volunteers from the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, the American Humane Association and PetSmart Charities assisted in the initial seizure, sheltering management and care of the rescued cats. A team of veterinarians, led by Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, conducted full medical exams and treated any immediate concerns. Also on-site was the ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, which provided critical spay/neuter services.
“This rescue took an incredible amount of teamwork, patience and faith on everyone's part,” says Rickey. “With so many cats placed, I am proud to say we can walk away from this operation knowing we accomplished something very special.”
The ASPCA is immensely grateful for the support of regional organizations and ASPCA partner agencies that offered temporary housing—and eventual, permanent placement—of more than 150 of the rescued cats, including:
Bucks County SPCA, PA
Humane Society of Berks County, PA
Chautauqua County Humane Society, NY
SPCA Serving Erie County, NY
Atlanta Humane, GA
Good Mews, GA
SPCA Tampa Bay, FL
Cat Depot, FL
SPCA Suncoast, FL
Columbia Animal Shelter, SC
Noah's Ark, NJ
One More Smith, NJ