The Fredericksburg SPCA, Spotsylvania County Animal Control and the Spotsylvania Animal Shelter worked together to remove 84 cats from a home last week.
Dalia Salah, deputy director of the Fredericksburg SPCA, said the team of about 15 people spent “a solid five to six hours” removing the cats from the one-level home in Spotsylvania on June 13.
The initial estimate was that there were 60 cats in the house, but the team ended up counting 84 cats. That number has increased to 94, as several of the cats have since given birth to kittens.
“[The kittens] were born two days after removal and it’s really special because they will be opening their eyes to a safe, healthy home,” said Salah.
The cats were not getting daily human contact and had a variety of medical and behavioral conditions, Salah said.
Some of the cats had wounds and ulcers from fights that stemmed from living in close contact with each other. Others had ear infections and skin conditions from mites and fleas.
The sickest cats received immediate medical attention at Lee’s Hill Pet Hospital. All will need to be tested for feline leukemia and will be spayed or neutered, Salah said, but most are expected to recover fully.
Thirty-five cats are at the Spotsylvania Animal Shelter and the rest are at the Fredericksburg SPCA or are living with foster families.
Once they are fully recovered, the cats will be individually assessed to see what kind of forever home they can go to.
“Most of them should be fine as adoptable pets, but some may end up doing best in barn homes,” Salah said.
The SPCA is in “dire need” of food, bedding, basic cleaning supplies and monetary donations to help care for the influx of animals, she said. The organization maintains an Amazon wish list to inform the community of its most-needed items.
Salah wants the community to know that hoarding is a complex psychological condition.
“We do not want anyone to be shamed, and we don’t want to hinder people reaching out to us who might be in a similar condition and need help,” she said. “We have trained team members who are available to talk in a judgment-free way.”