The Medina County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received more than 40 cats this Thursday from one home. Stephanie Moore, Medina SPCA executive director, said the cats had been well-fed, but were not provided with medical care.
“They’re all horribly flea-infested,” she said. The nonprofit took in a total of 46 cats. Three were euthanized because two were infected with feline AIDS, and the third appeared to have a spinal-cord injury, Moore said.
The cats are either black or chocolate brown, and are all Burmese or Burmese mixes, Moore said. “Many are pregnant,” she said. “One came in with two babies.”
The Medina SPCA will take care of the cats until they heal, and get them spayed and neutered, in order to prepare them for adoption.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped with resources, and PetSmart Charities donated kennels for them, Moore said.
The organization has taken on a greater role caring for cats, now that the Medina County animal shelter no longer accepts them. Medina County commissioners agreed in late November to turn over the county’s cat program to the SPCA, and will pay the nonprofit $13,000 a year for the service.
Some were critical of the Medina County Animal Shelter for euthanizing cats using a carbon monoxide gas chamber. The Medina County SPCA is a “no-kill” shelter, and only euthanizes animals that have serious medical problems.
Mary Jo Johnson, humane officer for the Medina County SPCA, said the cats’ owner, who lives in Brunswick, contacted the SPCA asking the organization to take in her cats when she found out the county shelter would no longer accept cats.
Johnson said the ASPCA prefers the term “overwhelmed caregiver” to “hoarder,” with its negative connotations.
Johnson said she believes the owners start with good intentions, but they should not be taking care of animals unless they can provide them with medical care.
“These people love their animals,” she said. “It gets away from them. Daily care gets to be hard when you get this many. … They don’t realize the more they get, the further things spiral out of control.”
The last time the Medina County SPCA took in such a large number of animals from one owner was when the organization seized more than 30 horses in April from a farm in Guilford Township.
To encourage adoptions, the Medina SPCA is running a “Home for the Holidays” special, waiving the fee for cats with an approved application.
Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.