Happy Tails: 250 Cats Rescued from Hoarder Find Homes

 |  Sep 13th 2011  |   3 Contributions


Ashley Mauceri of the Humane Society of the United States enjoys some cuddles with a cat named Velcro. Image: Screen capture from HSUS video

Three months ago, the Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nations came to the rescue of almost 700 cats from the Haven Acres "Sanctuary" in Highland Springs, Fla. And last month, at a spectacularly successful adoption event, nearly a third of those cats found loving forever homes.

The Gainesville Sun reports that a three-day adoption drive held by HSUS and the Alachua County Humane Society on the last weekend of August, 247 of the 550 cats available for adoption found "forever homes."

Considering the condition these poor cats were in when Kitty News Network first reported the story, it's nothing short of amazing how far they've come in their recovery.

Cats that were terribly sick with respiratory infections are now breathing clearly. Cats that needed medication to control seizures or other chronic conditions are now getting the care they need. In the clean, well-lit environment of the temporary shelter HSUS and United Animal Nations set up for the rescued felines, the cats are thriving and ready to find new homes.

It's amazing that despite the horrible circumstances from which they were rescued, the cats are still friendly and actively seek affection from anybody who walks by their cages. What a testament to their physical and emotional resilience.

And what a testament to the people of Gainesville and the surrounding towns! Hundreds of them came forward to find furry friends, not just because they wanted a cat but because they knew these special kitties deserved a place where they could experience the love and care they should have gotten all along.

"They have been through the worst, so they deserve the best," one adopter said.

What has become of the cats that didn't find their families at the adoption drive? The Alachua County Humane Society took 20 of them, and others went to shelters around the region.

As we all know, most cats really don't like riding in cars. But the move will end up being better for them in the long run. "A couple of hours of a stressful situation is better than leaving them in an area that's already saturated," says Jordan Crump, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States.

HSUS made this video of the adoption drive. Get your tissues out before you hit the Play button.

In a reader? Watch the video here.

In case you're wondering what happened to the rest of the 697 cats seized from Haven Acres: 60 were so ill that they had to be humanely euthanized, and about 50 others are being held as evidence in the case against sanctuary operators Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz — who will soon be going on trial for 47 counts of animal cruelty.

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