After more than 60 cats and four dogs were found at a Honeysuckle Drive home in Orangeburg County, South Carolina back on March 4, County Administrator Harold Young said the residence was in such bad shape it was condemned by the County Building and Codes Officer. Now the Orangeburg County Animal Control and Shelter, along with area rescues are scrambling to find homes for the displaced animals.
The owner surrendered all of the cats and found homes for the four dogs. The cats were taken to the Orangeburg County Animal Control and Shelter.
Three veterinarians and several technicians experienced in hoarding cases made the trip from Charleston to Orangeburg County on Wednesday in the society’s new mobile spay/neuter clinic, although this time the mobile clinic was there to perform examinations. Orangeburg County Animal Control Director Dana Lang showed the team row after row of cages that lined each room. Even the “puppy room” was full of cats.
Each cat was tested for disease, given a complete medical exam, treated, vaccinated and checked for microchips. Many had tapeworms caused by flea infestations. According to Roman
“Several had vision issues, which is consistent with areas of high levels of ammonia,” a substance in cat urine. A couple of cats were under-socialized, there were cases of feline leukemia and FIV and cases of upper respiratory infections.”
Unfortunately, ten of the cats tested positive for the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and one tested Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). While these illnesses would have meant a death sentence years ago, cat advocates have changed the perception of FeLV/FIV+ cats, proving they have as much of a right to live as healthy cats.
The Charleston mobile clinic displayed efficiency at its finest. Within 30 minutes of prep work by the veterinary team, the first cats were ready for their examination. Charleston Animal Society Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach Aldwin Roman reported the healthiest cats were examined first so they could be moved into various rescues. A post on the For the Love of a Paw Facebook page reported 20 of the cats left on Thursday.
Representatives from the Aiken Humane Society arrived in Orangeburg on Thursday to take some of the cats. The Palmetto Animal League is also saving ten of the cats. Every rescue who steps up to assist is taking some of the pressure off of Orangeburg County Animal Control, as stated by Young in an interview with WIS-TV
“Everyone that’s been involved has been a blessing to us as a county because that saves us resources. We’re very thankful for the rescues coming in and helping us out.”
The outpouring of support is nationwide. Someone in Texas donated $2,500 to help the cats. Food Lion donated bags of litter from a nearby distribution center.
Still, the need is great. Chasity Avinger with For the Love of a Paw reported their rescue desperately needs disposable cat litter boxes and small towels. If you would like to donate, contact Avinger at her law firm at 803-854-0115. Donations can also be sent to P.O. Box 1377, Santee, SC 29142, or through their Facebook page.
No one has been named at this time since no charges have been filed against the owner. The case is still under investigation as Animal Control officers are gathering evidence to present to the solicitor for charges of animal cruelty and neglect.
Updates as to when the cats are healthy enough for adoption will be posted on the Orangeburg County Animal Control and Shelter Facebook page. Please contact them at (803) 534-0045 if you have a spot in an approved rescue for any of the kitties, especially the FeLV/FIV+ cats.