P. O. Box 902, Hudson, New York 12534
WESTERLO, Greene County, Wednesday, February 20:
A gruesome surprise greeted Maureen Hansen, a potential buyer of an empty home in Westerlo, last Wednesday, when she went with a local realtor to view the property with an idea of applying some "tender loving care". Upon touring the grounds, the two looked into an outbuilding and found a dozen or so abandoned, emaciated cats. A number of the cats were deceased, and the remaining cats were precariously close to starvation.
Shocked, she frantically tried to contact local
shelters and animal control officers, but was told there was nothing they could
do for the abandoned cats. When she contacted Animalkind, Inc., a non-profit,
all-volunteer organization dedicated to the non-proliferation of abandoned,
feral and stray cats in Hudson and the surrounding areas, the response came
Animalkind summoned two volunteers and immediately took off for the Westerlo location. Upon reaching the outbuilding, the Animalkind was able to capture and contain nine of the emaciated animals and rush them to the Catskill Animal Hospital on Route 9W, north of Catskill. The staff at the Catskill Animal Hospital immediately accommodated the situation, made room for the emergency arrivals and gave them emergency medical attention. Unfortunately, one cat had to be euthanized, and another died during the night.
"I was completely shocked and saddened by the condition of these animals," said Ms. Hecker, who has been working locally with stray feline population control for well over three years. Ms. Hecker stated, "This is one of the worst situations I have run across. Starving cats were cuddling up over dead cats, too weak to even move. At first, we did not know which cats were alive and which had starved to death. (Photo-right: One of the cats that starved to death)
(Photo-left: Another dead cat) An eviction notice was still visible at the home, and it appears the former tenants had left the animals behind. “It is time to shine some light on the irresponsibility of some pet owners who abandon their animals, “ Ms. Hecker said. “Animal abandonment is against the law and we intend to follow up and pursue this case. The animals, having become dependent on human support, become victims of neglect with no voice to speak for themselves.
Despite their skinny and weakened condition, the seven surviving cats are surprisingly loving and affectionate animals. They have regained their appetites and are quickly making up for lost time. All were tested for feline leukemia and feline aids and found to be negative. (Photo-right: One of the more gruesome sights to greet the Animalkind rescuers was this body part from one of the cats.)
Ms. Hecker estimated that the testing, vaccination and altering of these animals are expected to cost Animalkind close to $700. Anyone wishing to adopt one or two of these displaced cats is urged to contact Animalkind at 518-828-3694. Donations are badly needed to help Animalkind recover the costs of medical treatment of these, and other abandoned cats, and can be sent to Animalkind, PO Box 902, Hudson, NY 12534.
The wonderful conclusion: All
18 of the cats that were saved have now been adopted!
Animalkind has been active not only in Hudson, but also in Greene County and other locations. Animalkind is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are fully tax-deductible.
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Animalkind Inc.is a not-for-profit welfare, protection, rescue, rights organization dedicated to the compassionate care and humane population control of abandoned, feral and stray cats in Hudson, New York (Columbia County) and the surrounding area. We promote non-lethal prevention of an unwanted litter or litters of kittens through trap, spay, neuter, release (return), (tnr, TNR). An altered cat or kitten is released into a managed colony. Felines living in such colonies are assured kind daily care. Adoption to homes providing love and care for cats and kittens is encouraged. We also provide low or no cost spaying and neutering assistance to low income pet owners and help increase public awareness and education through the media, special events, and publications to promote compassion, respect, and kindness towards all animals (d-3).
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