The "Carrier Hoarder" Cats

This blog is dedicated to the story of an animal rescue operation. In July 2006, a rescuer in the San Fernando Valley became aware of a situation where two animal hoarders had accumulated 47 cats in their small apartment. The cats lived in carriers stacked on top of one another; in many cases, the carriers were so small the cats couldn't turn around.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Welcome to the "Carrier Hoarder" Cats blog. I am the president of Kitten Rescue, one of the several local animal groups helping out with the rescue of a large group of cats living in squalid conditions in a small apartment. Here is a brief recap for those who are not familiar with the story.

On July 13, a rescuer named Elle, acting on a tip, went to an apartment in North Hollywood to see a couple who had accumulated 47 cats and kittens. They were living in carriers stacked on top of one another. The smell was overpowering. The cats looked ratty, were desperate to get out, and did not have adequate food or water. Elle included some heartbreaking pictures with her email, which I have uploaded here:

Elle broadcast a plea for help to the rescue community. Many of them, including me, told her that she had to go to the recently-formed Animal Cruelty Task Force, as this was clearly a case of animal abuse. Elle contacted the Task Force and officers went with her to the apartment the next day. For reasons which still do not remain clear, the officers did not impound the animals and arrest the hoarders; rather, they gave them three days to address the poor living conditions that the cats were in, and left without doing anything. The hoarders took the opportunity to spirit away as many of the cats as they could in their trailer before Monday, when two different officers from the Task Force returned. These officers confiscated 16 of the remaining 18 cats. Why they chose to leave two behind is again unclear. The fate of the 30 or so cats that the hoarders had stashed is currently unknown, though Elle has some leads and hopefully they will be taken from these people shortly.

After taking the cats, the officers turned them over to Elle and urged her to get them into rescue groups so they wouldn't have to go to the city shelter. Fortunately, because we had some advance notice, we were able to clear out some room at our private, no-kill shelter and create a special receiving room for them, and by the evening all 16 cats were out of Elle's apartment. I will post a separate entry linking to pictures of these cats, and describing the shape they were in.

This rescue effort is ongoing. There are still 30 or so cats in the clutches of these sick people that remain unaccounted for. There is the matter of the Animal Cruelty Task Force failing to do its job and intervene in a timely fashion. Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending - the cats will all be rescued, cared for and placed into homes, and the horrible, sick people who perpetrated this abuse will be prosecuted for what they have done to these poor animals.


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