King’s Harvest Animal Shelter has 24 new felines in their building after rescuing the animals from a hoarding situation in Eldridge.
“The area that they were staying in was horrific,” said shelter director Terri Gleize in a press release. “Hoarding is a serious problem. So many times people think they are saving the animals but then get in over their head with the cost of food, veterinary care and altering.”
King’s Harvest was informed of the hoarding situation, and went to the property with authorities. Upon arrival, they found around 60 cats in a single car garage. King’s Harvest was able to take 24 of the animals. It’s a mix of cats and kittens, and one pregnant cat about to give birth.
“When you have animals in a hoarding situation they’re not usually getting the vet care that they need, they’re not getting the vaccinations, you have a lot of breeding going on and you have a lot of inbreeding going on,” said assistant director Brandi Anderson.
The cats that arrived were anemic and underweight, flea and parasite infested, and many suffering from eye and respiratory infections. The staff immediately gave flea baths, got rid of parasites and started treating the cats. Some of the kittens weighed in under one pound.
“It was kind of scary, we weren’t sure how it was going to look this morning,” said Anderson. “But everybody pulled through and they actually look so much better now that they’re all rid of the fleas and they’re nursing with mom, I mean they look incredible now.”
King’s Harvest staff says this will take a huge toll financially. They have to get the animals back to weight, get their shots and vet needs in, and then spay and neuter them. This takes money and time, especially since many of the kittens are so small and they have to be at least two pounds to be altered.
There are also the 25 or more cats left on the property that the shelter couldn’t take in. King’s Harvest is a no-kill shelter.
“It was extremely hard leaving so many behind,” said Gleize. “We are hoping we will be able to go back and save some more. This is a huge strain on our shelter due to it being kitten season right now. Kittens have been being dropped off daily and all our foster homes are full.”
It is often harder for shelters to find homes for cats than dogs, mostly due to numbers. Adding 24 cats to the already full shelter is a big strain. Staff hope to get the cats healthy and adopted as soon as possible.
“We’re going to keep the public updated,” said Anderson. “We’ll let everybody know once we get them named and healthy who’s available for adoption and when.”
Anderson says the big things they need are monetary donations to help with all the medical attention the cats need. They also always need kitten chow, paper towels, litter and bleach.