Woodbury Animal Shelter responded to a call from local police requesting assistance with “numerous animals” involved in a Harriman house fire on Thursday, March 24. When shelter staff arrived around 4 p.m., they found dozens of cats around the property.
“It was a hording situation,” said Woodbury Animal Shelter manager Pam Gambuti. No one was living at the house; the owner would visit several times a day to feed the cats.
Woodbury Animal Shelter staff was on site until 8 p.m. rounding up cats. Many were loose, but some were in cages, saved by firefighters who removed them from the home.
As of Monday, March 29, the shelter has taken in over 30, and its crew is still working on trapping the remaining cats on the property, many of which are feral.
“We’re working smartly. We’re trying to take the ones in that we need first: the very sick, the injured, any babies, any pregnant moms,” said Gambuti. “They’re coming first.”
Luckily, the shelter recently got new cages and is able to manage the influx of animals. As the rest of the cats come in, Woodbury Animal Shelter will partner with other rescues for space and to socialize the cats. When they’re treated and ready, the cats will be available for adoption.
Fleas and bills
Many of the cats are in need of medical care due to neglect. Most have upper respiratory infections which, according to Gambuti, is common with hording situations. Many have skin issues, hair loss, and fleas.
“They all have to be on antibiotics,” added Gambuti. “We’re going to do nebulizer treatments on everybody, so it’s a lot.”
For those interested in making a donation, the shelter is currently seeking flea treatments, such as Frontline, and cleaning supplies to help care for the cats. People can also offset the shelter’s vet bill by making a payment to Woodbury Animal Shelter’s account at The Vets I Love Veterinary Hospital in Monroe.
“I’m trying desperately to not have this wipe out our budget for the year,” said Gambuti.