The feline horde was discovered in a two storey house in Pennsylvania, USA. It's believed they went almost a week without access to food and water. When police officers found them, they contacted the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.
The rescue team arrives
The rescue team arrived at the house armed with plenty of medical and trapping supplies.
Surprisingly, many of the cats were in good physical condition, although living in such cramped and isolated conditions had clearly had an effect on their mental health.
The majority were skittish, poorly socialised, and aggressive. Elisabeth Manville is the deputy director of the rescue centre. She said:
"They are quite afraid, and they are going to need some time where they can decompress.”
“The ones we couldn’t get [initially] because of extreme fear, we set traps out after that, to get the rest of them. So we are still in the process of trapping some of the cats in that hour. The most traumatized cats are being kept in crates with privacy towels to help them adjust.”
After assessing the cats, staff realised they needed plenty of work before they could be considered for adoption. Some are already showing signs of socialisation, while others will be more suited to the centres working cat program.
These programmes are life-saving alternatives for many feral cats. Rather than being destroyed, feral cats are adopted by businesses that value their hunting skills. Working cats are often placed on farms, in warehouses, or on church grounds.
But any options remain a long way off. The cats will require extensive medical care before being rehomed. They will also be vaccinated and the females spayed. Since taking in the cats, the centre has already had 9 new arrivals!