FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Dozens of cats are looking for new homes after their owner gave them up.
MSPCA officials say the man had 78 cats in his home, ranging in age from weeks-old kittens to full grown adults.
The animals were removed from the house in Fall River Tuesday, after the owner said he’s had enough and couldn’t take care of them anymore.
“By the time he reached out to us, he was pretty overwhelmed and it was pretty clear that he needed help,” Alyssa Krieger with the MSPCA Boston tells 22News’ sister station WPRI-12 Eyewitness News.
Now, adoption centers around southern New England are working to give the cats the care they need.
Fall River Animal Control has taken in 24 cats, and the other 54 are being cared for by the MSPCA in Boston and Cape Cod.
“There are some really little kittens, some kittens who had some worse conjunctivitis or upper respiratory stuff,” says Krieger. “Most of our cats at the Boston shelter are in pretty good shape.”
Most of the cats are suffering from treatable health issues, such as eye and ear infections, which are common in cats who live in one confined space.
“Basically what happened is this person had a couple of cats and over a relatively short period of time, a couple of cats can easily turn into 70 or 80 cats,” says Krieger. “A lot of the time what happens in hoarding situations is the person just loves the cats so much that they don’t think anyone else can love them as much as they do.”
In a statement, Krieger said: “We’re going to do everything we can to make their stay with us as comfortable as we can while we work to transition them into new homes. Cats that come from homes like these tend to do better when there are other cats already at home—so we’ll be placing them in pairs and/or in homes that already have a resident cat in place.”
Officials say the owner is still in possession of five neutered male cats. His identity, and the home’s address, have not been released by officials. No charges have been filed against the owner as well.