48 cats seized from Plymouth hoarder
Over the past two weeks, HSHV has rescued nearly 50 cats
Plymouth, MI (July 6, 2017) – Over the past two weeks, the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) has rescued nearly 50 cats from a hoarding situation in Plymouth, and is desperately seeking adopters. (July 26 update: Nearly all cats have found homes-- thank you!)
It was a horrible situation that went on for decades, according to some neighbors. Many of the cats were very sick. There were remains of dead animals saved in plastic containers, and a hot tub was filled with feces. Although dozens of complaints were made, no action was taken until recently, when area officials and the new property management asked HSHV to rescue the cats. (HSHV’s jurisdiction to enforce animal cruelty laws does not include Plymouth.)
“It is regrettable that this situation went on for so long. The conditions that go along with animal hoarding violate state animal cruelty laws and cause immense suffering for the animals. It also indicates that a person with serious mental health issues is not getting the help they need. Animal hoarding should always be taken seriously and unfortunately requires criminal prosecution to ensure that necessary treatment and monitoring is provided. Sadly, all went without help for a very long time,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s President and CEO.
“These cats are real survivors and have withstood horrid conditions I doubt many of us could,” says Michele Baxter, HSHV’s Cruelty & Rescue Manager. “We hope the public will come forward to adopt them and give them the loving care they deserve.”
Baxter and the HSHV Cruelty Investigators pulled the cats from an elderly man’s dilapidated trailer home in which he was living with the cats. The man has been relocated, and the trailer was scheduled for demolition on Monday.
Lynx Point Siamese mixes, grey tabbies, brown tabbies and more are available for adoption at HSHV. All of them have been spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, and provided with much-needed medical treatment. While some could be house cats, the majority of the rescued cats are not equipped for indoor life. These “barn cats” are free to qualified adopters.
“Adopting a barn cat can be a mutually beneficial relationship,” says Jessica Vankoningsveld, feline behavior specialist at HSHV. “You’re saving the life of a sterilized cat, while they help scare off pesky rodents. They can help protect the perimeter of your home, or the area where you keep horse or chicken feed—we’ve even heard people report that barn cats are what keep their town mice-free. Plus, barn cats can make great companions for people and other farm animals. Many barn cats become more social and friendly over time and though we can’t say for certain with these cats, some ‘barn cats’ end up as house cats.”
HSHV requires that barn cat adopters provide a safe, permanent shelter with an area of weather-proof covering, a continuous supply of fresh food and water, acclimation time to the area, and veterinary care when required.
To apply to adopt a free barn cat, please go to www.hshv.org/barncatapplication. You will be contacted within 2 business days. HSHV is open for adoptions 7 days a week.
About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:
The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal "save-rate" among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation's top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website (hshv.org) and on our annual report (www.hshv.org/annualreport).