For over seven years, Toronto Animal Services received complaints about an apartment in a high-rise building in Toronto. Neighbors said that the smell was unbearable, even from the hallway. Finally, in May 2019, Toronto Animal Services went to check out the apartment. They were shocked by what they found.
There were hundreds of cats jammed into the small, two-bedroom apartment.
The woman who owned the apartment suffered from a severe hoarding disorder. It took a whole day for animal services workers to count the cats. By the end of the day, they realized there were more than 300 cats in this tiny apartment.
Toronto Animal Services quickly realized they wouldn’t be able to handle all these cats on their own, so they called a few different animal rescue groups in the area, including Toronto Cat Rescue.
“It was a very difficult place to spend any time,” Belinda Vandersluis, executive director of Toronto Cat Rescue, told The Dodo. “The smell was overwhelming and it was just an overwhelming place to be — besides the fact that there were 300 cats there.”
Toronto Animal Services, Toronto Cat Rescue, and the other rescue groups there all took some of the cats back to their shelters with them. Toronto Cat Rescue ended up taking 70 of the cats with them.
The shelter brought in a team of vets to check out the cats, and they found that most of the cats were healthy. Few of the cats had fleas or parasites, which was amazing considering where they came from. Most of the cats were also surprisingly social—it was clear that they had been loved.
“These cats are surprisingly social. They are fine with humans, and many are craving attention and snuggles. We won’t need to place cats in barn program. Our foster homes are amazing at socializing and caring for cats of all sorts,” Vandersluis said.
There were also a lot of cats who were pregnant, with some due to give birth just a few days after the rescue. Now, these cats will be able to give birth in safe, clean places.
After the cats were checked out, Toronto Cat Rescue began placing them in foster homes. The cats were so excited to go to their new homes, places where they’ll get more attention than they’ve ever gotten in their lives.
Most of the cats have been spayed or neutered, and they’ve gotten vaccinated. Some of the cats are even ready for adoption—soon, they’ll have forever homes where they’ll get all the love and care they deserve.
Hopefully, the woman who hoarded these cats is getting the help she needs. She can also rest easy knowing that her beloved cats are all well cared for.
“They’re playing, eating, they don’t have fleas or worms and they don’t have medical or dental issues,” Vandersluis said.
When rescuers walked into this apartment, they could have never guessed what they would find. But now, these cats are all on the road to recovery and will soon be going to forever homes!
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h/t: The Dodo