Shelter bursting at the seams with cats after possible hoarding case
The London Humane Society (LHS), already overwhelmed with cats, has taken in an additional 28 in what is being called a case of animal hoarding.
The 28 cats were removed from a London home and taken to the shelter last week.
The addition brings the number of cats at the humane society to nearly 250, far exceeding the organization's capacity.
Judy Foster, LHS executive director, says "We've increased our capacity here to 150, and right now we are sitting well over 200."
Ad shocking as it sounds, animal hoarding is not uncommon - and it's taking a toll on shelters.
Several rooms have been repurposed to accomodate the cats, and an investigation into the possible hoarding case continues.
And even without new admissions the number could still grow, says Chris Chew, an investigating officer with LHS.
"The regular is that they are not spayed and neutered, and then when those animals do come in that number will multiply because of pregnant cats. So we will end up with more kittens within the shelter, and that makes that 20 become 30 or 40 by the time we're done with it."
The largest recent animal hoarding case in the city was in 2009, when 71 cats were taken from a north London home, and sadly it's seems to be getting more common.
Chew explains "Often property does become dilapidated, unusable, you have issues for health - things like that - for people and for the animals, you have concerns for the actual level of care when they come in and if we have to treat them for things. These are all costs being incurred through not only us but through the community."
Foster adds "It doesn't matter if it's dogs or cats, both species pay a price when there is animal hoarding. For sure this comes out of the very best intentions, but with the worst possible outcome for the animals."
For now the 28 cats that have been rescued will be cared for at the shelter while the humane society completes its investigation.
Meanwhile donations of towels and food are needed and can be dropped off at the London Humane Society on Clarke Road just south of Oxford Street.