Cat hoarding case requires public help

Shelter seeks assistance after large-scale evacuation

KANE COUNTY—Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, Ill., received a request from a Kane County municipality asking for help with a severe cat hoarding case.

The shelter is working with a community service officer to remove the cats from the hoarder’s home. Because of the sensitivity of this effort, the community and officer involved in this case have asked not to be identified at this time.

The estimated number of cats that need to be evacuated was at least 30 as of Tuesday evening, the shelter reported.

For assistance with this massive rescue effort, the shelter is reaching out to animal lovers.

“These animals need help, and we, as a community need to step up and help felines much more than we do, not only with this case, but with all felines in general,” Anderson Animal Shelter Executive Director Sandy Shelby said in a statement the shelter released Tuesday.

The shelter estimates that the cost for treating the cats for upper respiratory infection, spaying or neutering, vaccinating, testing for communicable diseases, and de-worming will be at least $150 per cat.

“This is stretching our budget, but we know we can’t turn our backs on these animals that desperately need to get out of this situation,” Shelby said. “We are hoping that the public will step up to the plate and help with donations of money, supplies and offers to give one of the cats a home once they have been treated and evaluated and are ready to leave the shelter.”

According to the shelter, animal hoarding is serious and occurs in communities across the United States. Thousands of animals suffer and die in squalid conditions, devoid of access to adequate food and water, living in filth and breathing acrid ammonia in the air. Many times, the smells and extreme conditions are what alert neighbors, and ultimately give law enforcement notification that something is wrong at the home of an animal hoarder.

In addition, owners of these animals usually insist nothing is wrong and that only they can care for their pets. Families and friends usually gradually remove themselves from the life of an animal hoarder as they realize that their attempts to help have failed, Shelby said.

To donate or find out more information, visit Anderson Animal Shelter, 1000 South Lafox Road, South Elgin. Or, contact the shelter at (847) 697-2880 or online at www.andersonanimalshelter.org.