Hoarding Situation Leaves More Than 30 Cats Homeless

The anonymous report of an animal hoarder on Union Street led to the discovery and rescue of approximately 30 flea-ridden, cats needing immediate medical care in what officials are calling one of the worst animal abuse incidents the town has encountered.

On Aug. 23, animal control officers investigated the complaint, at which time officers were granted limited access to the one-family, residential home. It was determined that approximately 30 cats were living in the house with most infested by fleas. Officers determined that all the cats were in need of immediate intervention and should be removed from the home, evaluated and treated by a veterinarian.

Laura Selvaggio Burban, Director of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, said that most cats were thought to be feral, but after treating them for medical conditions—specifically skin irrations do to fleas—the majority of cats have calmed down and do not show signs of feral, or wild behavior. She does however nots, several cats in the lot are feral.

On Aug. 24, an animal control officer was granted access to the home and began removing the cats. The officer also discovered a deceased cat, covered in fleas, in the basement and another cat actively giving birth to kittens that were also in need of care. Twelve cats were removed and brought to a local veterinarian's office for evaluation.

During Aug. 25 and 26, animal control officers returned to the home numerous and retrieved more cats in need of care, however estimated 10 more cats are still in the process of being captured using Hav-a-Hart traps, which are considered a humane means of trapping animals.

The cats are all being treated for fleas, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and fever.

"Our officers assist Branford residents in a number of animal complaints every day," said Selvaggio Burban.

"This certainly has been one of the worst in terms of not only the amount of animals but their need for immediate medical assistance, care, and adoption."

Burban said the Shelter is in need of assistance from the public to foster and adopt these cats. The facility is unable to care for them in as they are at full capacity. The shelter is also in need of donations to help with the treatments and medical expenses that will be required to rehabilitate these animals. To offer assistance, contact the Shelter at 203-315-4125 or Branford Animal Shelter 749 East Main St. Branford CT 06405.

Information courtesy of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter


The home where the cats were removed.
The home where the cats were removed.

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