CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Dozens of animals are looking for new homes after they were removed from a now-condemned Rhode Island home.
Eyewitness News visited cats being cared for at the Charlestown Animal Shelter after authorities rescued them last week.
“You can imagine 70 cats in one household…there were litter boxes, but obviously not enough to accommodate all the cats in the house,” said Kathy McA’Nulty, Animal Control Officer.
McA’Nulty responded to the Columbia Heights Oval home along with authorities to rescue 70 cats, two dogs and a bird last week. Some cats had to be euthanized, and the rest are recovering at various shelters. McA’Nulty says they are being treated for respiratory symptoms and fleas, and are doing much better.
Charlestown’s building inspector Joseph Warner told Eyewitness News the home was condemned and one person living there was hospitalized after authorities visited the house and removed the animals. He described the conditions inside as horrid, with a distinct smell of cat urine. Outside the home, a sign says it’s “unfit for human occupancy,” and the windows are boarded up.
Back at the shelter, the cats are being prepared to be adopted into new homes. McA’Nulty says they will receive their shots and be spayed and neutered. One rescued cat gave birth to kittens just two days ago.
McA’Nulty knows this situation well–a number of rescued cats have come into the shelter from hoarding situations in the past. Her own two cats, in fact, were rescued in this manner.
“It’s good to get them out of that situation and get them into good, loving, responsible homes,” she said.
She also said this is a perfect reminder of why it’s so important to spay and neuter your pets. The Charlestown shelter received a $14,000 grant last year that allows it to provide free spaying and neutering services to residents on public assistance, and half-price services to the rest of the community.
The shelter is hoping to expand so it can accommodate more quarantined animals in the future, if another situation arises.
The homeowners who were living with the cats are not being charged criminally, but Warner says they will receive housing violations.