More than 300 cats rescued from ‘perilous’ hoarding situation at Toronto apartment
Joshua Freeman and Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com
Published Monday, May 6, 2019 8:56AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 6, 2019 8:41PM EDT
A cat rescue group says it has helped remove more than 300 animals from a single Toronto apartment.
In a post on its website, Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR) said it responded over the weekend to a “perilous hoarding situation” alongside Toronto Animal Services.
“Over 300 cats were found, and TCR was on hand to help out and take 70 of the cats on Saturday,” the group said in its post.
Some of the cats were not found alive, the rescue group said.
A neighbour who lives across the hall from the unit where the cats were found said the smell that filled the hallways and nearby units was “unbearable.”
“It’s so strong,” Jeanette Lawrence said. “You come into the hallway and you can’t breathe.”
Lawrence said she knew her neighbour had a lot of cats, but she was shocked to learn exactly how many lived in the apartment.
“I thought maybe, like 30 something,” she said. “But 300 plus, that’s way too much. I’m a cat person and I love cats, but I only have one for a reason, because I know that’s all I can handle.”
Another 18th-floor resident said the smell was so bad that he worried there was a dead body inside the unit.
Karley Lux, who works with the Birch Dan Animal Hospital, said on Monday that the cats are in fairly good condition and are mostly well-socialized, despite their living conditions.
“There’s no fleas or infection. I think one of them needs a dental, but that’s about it, which is pretty surprising” Lux said.
At the same time, Brenda Vandersluis, the executive director of TCR, said that cats are not intended to live in large colonies.
“Certainly, they’d be having competition for food. It’s just impossible to care for 300 cats,” Vandersluis said.
The cats have been placed with foster families for observation and all of them will be vaccinated and spayed or neutered, TCR said.
The group noted that this is the second large cat-hoarding situation they have been called to assist with in roughly a month.
In late March, the group helped remove more than 100 cats from a house in Toronto.
Bylaws in the city state that no more than six cats are allowed in a single home.
“It’s a terrible way for cats to live,” the TCR statement said of homes where cats are hoarded. “If you know that someone has too many cats, it is best to report it sooner rather than later. Unsterilized cats breed prolifically, and with only a nine week gestation things get out of control very quickly.”
The cats and kittens removed from the apartment will eventually be put up for permanent adoption.