After receiving a tip about neglected cats living in a Brooklyn, New York, apartment, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents Deborah Koch and Kristi Adams began an investigation. When they arrived at the scene, they were confronted with 37 cats and kittens living in the one-bedroom apartment alongside their distraught owner. Their owner of the cats asked the Agents for help, and the ASPCA sprung into action.
On January 18, after careful planning, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team and ASPCA veterinarians traveled to Brooklyn to assist Special Agent Koch in the seizure of the cats.
Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response, reported that the cats’ owner was not abusive and did her best to care for all of her pets, but became overwhelmed by their out-of-control breeding. Cooperating fully with the ASPCA before and during the operation, the owner relinquished 35 felines and was allowed to keep her original two cats.
All 37 cats were transferred to a staging area at Brooklyn Animal Care & Control (AC&C), where an ASPCA Mobile Clinic was ready to sterilize the two cats who were going back to their owner—preventing future litters—and to medically evaluate the others. Most of the cats appeared to be in good health and were dewormed, deloused, vaccinated and implanted with microchip IDs.
“The cats received complete medical exams and behavior evaluations before going up for adoption,” said Rickey. “The collaboration among all of the participating groups, including the Mayor’s Alliance and AC&C, helped make this operation run smoothly. We were fortunate to be able to accommodate these animals, and getting them to shelters as soon as possible gave them the best chance for placement in a new home.”
After triage at AC&C was completed, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals transported the 35 relinquished cats to its various partner organizations around the city, where they were cared for, spayed or neutered, and eventually made available for adoption.
In almost all animal hoarding cases, the person and the animals are suffering, either from neglect, health issues or isolation. Early intervention provides the best chance of a favorable outcome for both the person and the animals. If you know of an animal hoarding situation in your community, please alert your local humane society or animal control agency.
To learn more about animal hoarding, visit our Hoarding FAQ.