ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County animal shelter put out a call to the community Monday seeking help after receiving 40 cats from a single home over the weekend, many of the felines are Siamese, according to Orange County Animal Services.
OCAS was alerted to a hoarding situation by a concerned citizen who asked for a welfare check on the pets. While the homeowner was at first hesitant, they ultimately turned over the animals peacefully, according to officials.
“At the root of animal hoarding situations is often a kind-hearted, but misguided person who started out with a desire to help animals, but becomes overwhelmed over time, with the conditions around them deteriorating day-by-day,” OCAS manager Diane Summers said. “When we intervene we find the pet owners are often scared of working with us for fear that the animals will be humanely euthanized, but we take every effort to ensure we can find live release placement.”
No citations were issued but the case has been turned over the Sheriff’s Office for review, according to Animal Services.
Photos of the home where the animals were collected show deep disrepair and unsanitary living conditions for the pets and humans.
Many of the cats are fearful and have mild health issues including eye infections, according to the shelter. One of the cats had to be euthanized due to medical concerns.
Animal Services was able to place 15 of the cats in foster care, including four who have already been adopted. Several are in the care of a local rescue but 17 remain in the care of OCAS. The shelter needs to find homes as soon as possible for the felines. Nine cats are ready to go to good homes now.
The shelter also has dozens of other cars and kittens up for adoption.
Due the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person adoptions must be made by appointment and virtual visitations are also possible by Facetime or Webex. Since the shelter began offering virtual adoptions in April, more than 440 pets have been adopted through this method.
Available pets can be viewed and appointments can be made here.