At least 100 cats, 1 dog rescued in ‘largest cat hoarding case in history

At least 100 cats, 1 dog rescued in ‘largest cat hoarding case in the history

The smell of ammonia filled the air as 12 animal rescuers suited up and made their way into a flea-infested, cat-filled home in Greenbrier Thursday morning. There were approximately 100 cats, some dead kittens and one dog located on the property.

The Founder of Biscuit’s Legacy Rescue Group, Maggie Bradley, was contacted by rescue advocates at NationalKitty.com late Saturday night and quickly worked with the Humane Society of the Delta in Helena to come up with a plan.

Thankfully, humane society Gloria Higginbotham was happy to help. The shelter has a large area to house cats.

“When I made this call, they put a plan into action,” Bradley said. “They actually cleared out their cat room of healthy cats and transported most of them out and are setting up their cat room as a hospital ward.”

As a National Animal Cruelty Investigator, Bradley is no stranger to hoarding cases. However, she said this one stands out above all.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Bradley said. “This is most likely the largest cat hoarding case in the history of Arkansas, it’s bad.”

The crew arrived at the property on Miller Road at around 7:30 Thursday morning. The cats were split between two homes on the property and the dog was alone in a metal shed in the back. The rescuers said the owner was no longer living on the property but was still feeding the animals.

The Faulkner County Sherriff had ordered the owner to surrender the animals. Rescuers said they spent most of the day removing them from the home.

“You can’t see the floor, it is covered in cans, empty cans that cat food has been in,” Bradley said. “The ammonia smell, I’m sure you can smell it out here, is overwhelming even suited-up. There are kittens in there so we’re having to be very careful where we place our feet so we’re not stepping on them, and we have retrieved several deceased kittens.”

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Some of the cats were in decent shape but the rescuers said some will require a lot of extra care. Some of the cats have respiratory issues, ringworm and several unknown ailments.

“It’s going to take more people to help take care of the cats after we get there (the shelter), to take care of at least 100 cats every day,” Higginbotham said.

The rescuers said the shed the dog, a Blonde Lab Mix named Captain Kirk, was held in had no access to light. It’s possible he had never actually seen the sunlight before he was removed.

“He’s having air for the first time today that’s not full of ammonia,” one of the rescuers said.

The dog is likely heartworm positive, according to the rescuers. He’ll need dental work, and although he appeared to be well-fed, they said it could also be fluid.

Bradley said the owner is elderly. She said hoarding is a mental illness that can easily become overwhelming.

“It happens fast,” Higginbotham said. “One cat can have 10 to 12 litters and then shortly it just grows.”

Although the animals had a rough start in life, the rescuers can’t wait to give them the fresh start they deserve.

“What happens next with these cats is that we’ll take them back to our shelter, we’ll medicate everybody, love a lot of kitty cats and take good care of them,” Higginbotham said.

The animals should be ready for adoption within the next couple of months. Higginbotham said those interested can follow their journey by keeping an eye on the shelter’s Facebook page.

The groups have a GoFundMe page set up to cover the medical expenses and supplies. Thistle Pet Foundation has stepped up to make a matching donation, and Biscuit’s Legacy is also raising funds. They also have an Amazon Wishlist on Biscuit’s Legacy to help with supplies, food and puppy pads.

“We’re going to go through 1000 puppy pads the first week that these kittens are in the shelter,” Bradley said.

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