"This was one of the worst cases of animal hoarding this area has seen," says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. "With such a large number of rescued animals, it is critical that we find them loving homes as soon as possible."
After receiving critical medical attention with the aid of the ASPCA’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit, the cats were placed into the custody of the Elk County Humane Society. They are currently being cared for by a team of animal welfare experts at an emergency shelter.
"We are grateful to be in a position to provide resources and assistance in this overwhelming situation," says Rickey. "Our goal now is to get these animals into the loving homes they deserve."
On June 24, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team assisted the Elk County Humane Society of St. Mary’s, PA, in the rescue of nearly 400 cats from a “sanctuary” known as the Animal Friends of Elk and Cameron Counties. More than 50 first responders, including staff and volunteers from the American Humane Association and PetSmart Charities assisted in the raid.
The cats—including numerous kittens—were found living in deplorable, overcrowded conditions on the first floor of a two-story commercial building about 120 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The investigation, set into motion after complaints about the facility were received by the Elk County Humane Society, is believed to be the area’s largest cat rescue ever.