Delaware SPCA Rescues 'Throng' of Adoptable Cats from Hoarder

 |  Sep 17th 2010  |   6 Contributions


Delaware County SPCA Director of Community Relations Justina Calgiano holds a cat rescued from an alleged hoarding situation. Photo by Julia Wilkinson, Delaware County Times

It's a rare thing for a hoarder rescue to result in immediately adoptable cats. But that's the case with a recent rescue in Delaware.

Last week, the Delaware County SPCA received almost 50 cats from an alleged hoarding situation. Unlike the typically grim hoarder rescue that brings numerous sick cats, nearly all of the felines delivered Sept. 10 will be adoptable, shelter officials said.

I think it was as positive as it could have been out of a negative situation. It could have been a lot worse, said SPCA Director of Community Relations Justina Calgiano. We were surprised at how well they are doing. We just never know what to expect.

The cats were signed over to the shelter by their alleged owner, Denise Ann Merget, Calgiano said. Merget was jailed on charges of assault and weapons offenses for threatening an animal control officer at gunpoint when authorities arrived at her home with a warrant to enter the property Friday.

The Upper Darby, Delaware, Health Department declared Mergets house unfit for human habitation. Not only did the police find 48 cats, they found several handguns in the house, police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

Chitwood also noted that police have responded to the neighborhood at least 13 times for complaints about the smell of urine and cats running loose.

The shelter sprang into action once it heard the cats were coming in. They were placed in a special area of the shelter opened up by workers after each cat was vaccinated and dewormed, Calgiano said.

Most of the cats are surprisingly healthy, well socialized to other cats and litter box trained.

An overwhelming amount of these cats are very affectionate, Calgiano added. Even the shelters vet was surprised at how healthy they are, she said.

Among the rescued cats are several purebred Siamese, some possible Russian Blues and quite a few solid black cats, with ages estimated anywhere between 6 and 10 years old, she said.

There are also several kittens under eight weeks that are not yet up to adoption weight.

The Delaware County SPCA recently announced that it would stop taking animal control cases by July 2011 in an effort to become a no-kill shelter by 2012. However, the shelter would continue to accept animals from cruelty cases, such as this one, Calgiano said.

While there is a good chance all of the allegedly hoarded cats will be adopted out of the shelter, Calgiano said animal lovers sometimes feel they make more of a difference when they adopt a cat rescued from a hoarding situation.

We really need people to come out in full force and continue to adopt as we have so many cats now, Calgiano said.

Merget was remanded to Delaware County prison in lieu of $50,000 straight bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

People who want to adopt or foster these or any other cats at the SPCA can visit the shelter's website or call the shelter at (610) 566-1370 for more information.

[Source: Delaware County Times]

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