Many people feel their heartstrings being tugged at when they spot an animal in need. Sometimes it’s the most selfless and generous who open their home to stray after stray, thinking only of how much the animal needs someone to love it and not considering their own limits.
That’s how many hoarding situations begin: An animal lover has the best of intentions, but not enough support to thoroughly care for each creature. If those animals aren’t fixed, the situation quickly grows out of control.
One recent hoarding situation in Mt. Clare, Maryland, seems to fall into that category. A concerned observer called the Baltimore City Animal Control because they suspected a hoarding case in their neighborhood.
They requested a wellness check, stating that there were far too many cats on the property and it appeared the animals were being neglected.
Animal control believed they would find around 90 cats — already a staggering number — but the reality was even more shocking. They were surprised as they discovered cat after cat being found at the home.
“When Animal Control arrived at the home, they were shocked to find that the owners were actually living with 133 cats,” BARCS Animal Shelter posted on Oct. 6.
“The conditions inside of the house were overwhelming; it was clear the situation had been out of control for quite some time.
“Animal Control kindly explained to the owners that the cats would need to be removed for their health and safety, and the owners agreed. Together with BARCS, a plan was created to humanely relocate the cats to our shelter.”
BARCS was already housing 247 cats, and the influx of 133 has tested even their immediate abilities. While reassuring readers that they are giving each individual cat their attention and are “committed to finding positive outcomes for each one,” there is much work to do.
Some cats are undersocialized, some have “extensive” medical conditions that need treating. The animal shelter, too, has been reaching out for help, asking the public to consider donating to fully care for these animals who have gone without adequate care for so long — a herculean feat for any organization, let alone an individual.
They also urged people to be kind in their comments — a rarity online — explaining that the hoarders made the right decision in the end.
“We ask that our supporters please exercise kindness and compassion in the comments,” they wrote. “We know it can be difficult to imagine how this situation came to be, but the owners did the best thing they could for these cats — they accepted our help and gave them all a second chance.”
Many have responded positively, either sharing encouraging stories of their own cats adopted out of hoarding situations or pledging to adopt some of the cats once they become available.
As always, one of the best ways to combat this sort of issue is to ensure that your pets are spayed or neutered, so that their numbers don’t spiral out of control. In an update, BARCS shared that not one of the cats they rescued was fixed, so the population quickly exceeded the owner’s abilities.
They also shared that five cats have already been adopted, 22 are in foster homes, 37 have been selected for rescues and 12 are headed to adoption events. Thanks to generous donors, these cats are well on their way to their best lives — and hopefully the former hoarders are, too.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.