Animal rescue organizations teaming up to help with 100 plus cats removed from home


CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Rescue crews are treating more than 100 cats that were removed from a single home in Calhoun County, some of them in critical need of medical care.

Police say the cats were removed from the home of a 64-year-old woman in Athens, after neighbors complained of a bad odor.

Several dozen of the cats are being transported from the Calhoun County Animal Center to a rescue facility in Kalamazoo. Crews have been working around the clock to help the cats.

The county animal center is calling this one of the most extreme cases they’ve dealt with.

One by one, the Calhoun County Animal Center is working to help the approximately 114 cats brought to their facility on Thursday.

Cynthia Buford, the center’s CEO, is stressed, but determined to get the cats taken care of.

“We have quite a few that are going to need serious medical attention,” said Buford.

Buford says some of the cats have been transported to veterinary clinics to get treatment for respiratory infections.

“We do see hoarding cases once or twice a year,” said Buford, “usually not in these numbers.”

Buford’s team is continuing to make space, clean cages and keeping the animals organized. Kalamazoo Animal Rescue has committed to taking in 40 of the cats.

“It really takes a village to help with this,” said Melissa Sarenies, with Kalamazoo Animal Rescue. “We have people who aren’t even with our rescue offering to help transport.”

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton says the 64-year-old woman who was keeping the cats in her home is under investigation for animal cruelty.

“This is an individual our animal control has been dealing with throughout the years,” said Sheriff Saxton.

Sheriff Saxton says Animal Control officers have removed cats from the woman’s home before. He hopes this time she gets the help she needs.

The woman has signed all of her animals over to authorities who are trying to make the transition as comfortable as possible.

“Many of them are very scared of course, this is a total change in their environment,” said Buford.

The Calhoun County Animal Center is also in need of donations, primarily cat litter and cash for medical care.

Rescue crews say it may take several weeks before the cats can be adopted.

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