on Thursday, May 2, 2019
Just one week after ARL Animal Control officers rescued 26 cats and kittens from a one-bedroom Des Moines apartment, ARL officials were again called to a Des Moines home, this time to rescue 24 cats from a single-family house.
The cats were brought to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa where the ARL’s Emergency Care Team immediately began assessing the cats to determine their treatment plans. 15 adult cats and 9 nursing kittens were removed from disgusting conditions and many of the kittens were struggling to stay alive. All are suffering from untreated medical conditions, including severe upper respiratory infections, eye infections, and severe ear mites.
Two of the cats had indications of previous trauma and one cat’s teeth were so decayed that it was drooling bloody saliva. Another cat has multiple ear polyps that may require a specialized surgery. Sadly, despite our Veterinary team’s best efforts, one kitten did not survive.
In addition to being treated for the medical conditions they’re currently fighting, about half of the cats and all of the kittens will need spay/neuter surgeries. All will also need vaccinations and many of the adults will need major dental surgeries before they will be ready for new homes.
Animal hoarding has a recidivism rate of nearly 100% without a combination of successful familial, therapuetic, and prosecutorial intervention. Sadly, this was not the first time this owner has had cats removed and been charged.
“Hoarding situations are heartbreaking because they are truly a crisis for both the animals and the people who own them,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. “Typically in these situations, the people involved claim to love the animals they care for and cannot – or will not – acknowledge the suffering they are causing when the number of animals becomes unmanageable. Unfortunately, whether intentional or not, the animals’ suffering is the same.”
The ARL is already caring for over 1,250 animals, so adding 50 severely ill animals within a 7-day period is costly and creates a significant strain on the already full shelter.
Donations to the ARL’s Miracle Medical Fund to help save these cats can be made online at https://bit.ly/2UWGC7E or in person/by mail at ARL Main (5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313).
The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.