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Cats rescued from Johnstown home too sick for adoption

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Authorities told 6 News Friday that dozens of cats rescued from a Johnstown home are so sick, they're not sure they'll make it.

 

The people who live at the house where the cats were taken Thursday have not been charged, and police said they have no intention of filing charges because the owners surrendered them.

 

Authorities said it didn't happen over a couple of weeks or months, they said the problem was years in the making. They said it's something they see often: people trying to help animals, but before they realize it, they've taken in too many and can't provide the proper care.

 

"The smell was intense. It was mostly cat urine, and the ammonia smell was unbearable," said Jeannine Gailey, executive director for the Humane Society of Cambria County. "You have all those cats in that house, living in those conditions, as well as the people. I'm not sure why the people themselves didn't have more health problems."

 

Gailey was there Thursday helping to rescue the 40 cats living inside a small duplex on Arthur Street in Dale Borough.

 

"The cats had upper respiratory infections," said Gailey. "A lot of their eyes were crusted shut, bubbles coming out of their nose."

 

6 News stopped by the home Friday, but the woman who answered the door wouldn't say why she had so many animals and quickly told the reporter to leave.

 

The owners names have not been released because they haven't been charged.

 

The police officers allowed them to keep five already spayed or neutered.

 

There were three in the house, however, we could not catch right then," said Gailey. "We offered to trap the cats, but they refused. Since they were so willing to give up the other 40, we weren't going to push the issue."

 

But Gailey said the cats they did rescue are so sick, they probably won't be adopted out. She said they haven't give up hope yet and are providing around-the-clock care but could use some help.

 

"We need dry kitten food and nonscoopable clay cat litter. Those are the two main items for those cats we need," said Gailey. "We could also use liquid laundry detergent, paper towels, hand soap.  Anything at this point, would be greatly appreciated.

 

Police said they've given the owners strict orders for their other animals and are keeping a close eye on them. For now, police said they are keeping the case open.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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