Update - 8/1/2018
The final count of cats from the ongoing emergency rescue is 193. Our team reports that they are confident that no cats remain on the property so daily visits have ceased. They will of course continue with periodic surveillance to be certain no kitty is left behind. We understand that the property owner is receiving some help in cleaning up the area so as not to attract additional animals. The cats in our care continue to improve. A few are getting comfortable in there new homes and more than thirty of them have been welcomed to new barn/farm locations where they are settling in nicely. The team has gotten to know them and watch firsthand as they blossom—from wary, frightened, uncomfortable behavior into relaxed, serene or playful kitties exhibiting “normal” feline activities like seeking human attention, investigating their surroundings and grooming themselves. All have been spayed/neutered and many are ready for adoption at both our Noah’s Ark Campus and the Madison shelter. Some will make nice house pets and others are available to barn/farm type homes. We are grateful to some of our shelter partners who have welcomed cats from St. Hubert’s to their adoption programs to help us with space for this large, unexpected group—partnerships make it possible for us to assist more animals. Special gifts to help with the unanticipated costs of caring for these deserving cats can be made here. Thanks to all who have already lent their support.
St. Hubert’s Responds To Feline Emergency During Heat Wave--176 Rescued
Update - 7/13/2018
The rescued cats are making wonderful progress. The Noah’ Ark Campus is dedicated to their care and cannot currently welcome visitors. All pets for adoption are housed at Madison, North Branch and Everyday Adoption Center inside PetSmart Mt. Olive and are available during regular adoption hours.
It’s wonderful to see the kitties from the Sussex location relaxing, seeking human attention and looking happier and healthier with each passing day. Easy access to good nutritious food and clean housing, not to mention being parasite free and having their medical needs addressed, is allowing them to return to “normal” feline behaviors. Some are enjoying playing with toys, probably for the first time ever and individual personalities are becoming more evident.
Spay/neuter has been completed for about a third of the group and surgeries are taking place daily. Eight of the cats have just been transferred to Madison and are available for adoption. On Friday, July 13 the first few pairs were delivered to their new farm homes—we’re lucky to have additional homes waiting for some of the others once they are ready.
With aroma therapy ongoing, soothing classical music and enriching human interaction throughout the day all of them--from the adolescents to the sweet, stately seniors—continue to blossom. We’re so grateful for the support of our wonderful community in order to be able to ensure that each and every one gets whatever it is that he/she needs to become whole again. Click here to make a special gift for their care.
It’s also important to remember the human component to cases like this one. Simply removing animals does not solve the problem and recidivism is almost always 100 percent without effective intervention. Hoarding is a complex issue and must be addressed with compassion and understanding with mental health professionals. St. Hubert’s is committed to working with all agencies and officials to examine the human health component and find ways to provide services to individuals as well as the animals. We’re grateful to NJTV’s Brenda Flanagan for visiting the cats and insightfully addressing the issue.
We anticipate it will be several more weeks before all of the cats are ready for their new homes. We encourage those who can provide barn/farm type homes to email St. Hubert’s at email@example.com and provide a phone number so that we can reach out as the cats become ready to move to permanent homes. We prefer to place them in pairs or small groups. There are still a few more cats at the original location and our field team is on site daily to be sure that all are rescued.
Center Rescues 172 Cats From Dire Situation
St. Hubert’s has taken on an emergency cat rescue operation larger than any one we’ve previously undertaken and needs the support of the community to assist us caring for these most needy newest temporary residents.
As June drew to a close, St. Hubert’s was asked to assist with the rescue, sheltering and rehoming of what was initially thought to be up to 100 cats unconfined on a rural property in Sussex County. One of the original caretakers of the cats passed away within the last few years and the other elderly resident became overburdened and unable to provide care for them. The home and property have fallen into disrepair, now without electricity or running water. We were advised that over the years some cats had been removed from the site but the situation was never fully resolved and so the number continued to grow.
With the cooperation of the property owner and concerned neighbors St. Hubert’s agreed to take custody and responsibility for the cats, originally intending to remove them in small groups over a period of time while providing food and water to those awaiting relocation. Upon assessing the situation on site and with an intense heat wave beginning, it was determined that the majority of the cats were undernourished, a number of them also exhibiting symptoms of illness and/or injury. Plans were made to mobilize immediately to rescue the cats. A staging area for intake and triage/treatment was set up quickly at the Madison shelter and an additional staff member, experienced in trap/neuter/return and apprehending cats in difficult situations was added to the team in order to expedite getting the cats to safety.
Due to the oppressive heat, the field team was on site at dawn beginning on June 26 and also worked late into the evening to gather up the cats and bring them to Madison where the medical and care teams tended to their needs. As the week went on and cats were transported it became apparent that the individual estimate of 100 was conservative—172 cats have been welcomed to St. Hubert’s to date and the field team remains vigilant at the site to be certain none will be left behind.
All of the cats rescued have been vaccinated, dewormed, treated for fleas and spay/neuter is being provided. Some are being treated for illness or injury of varying severity, while others are expected to be available for rehoming soon. Responsible farm/barn homes will be sought for those cats unable able to transition to living as indoor house pets.
In order to accommodate this large group and to provide them with a calm, comforting environment as they recover we have re-organized the space at our Noah’s Ark Campus to serve as the emergency cat shelter. Animals from Noah’s have been temporarily moved to our other shelters in Madison, North Branch and the Everyday Adoption Center inside PetSmart Mt. Olive.
We continue to be open for adoptions 7 days a week at those sites and will update when we have a projected date for the re-opening of the Noah’s campus.
Monetary gifts to help with the costs of general care, spay/neuter and medical treatments from relatively simple to more serious can be made here. Food, litter and supplies can be dropped off at our shelters or ordered from our Amazon wish list for direct shipment at go.sthuberts.org/amazondonate.