The Calgary Humane Society continues to investigate a case of animal hoarding in the community of Monterey Park.
Officials said they first responded to the home around 9 a.m. Tuesday after receiving a complaint from the public, and spent roughly 12 hours rounding up dozens of cats before returning to the home on Wednesday.
“What we found upon execution of a search warrant was a house that’s been overrun by cats,” said Brad Nichols with the Calgary Humane Society. “Very, very, dirty environmental conditions that are causing health issues for everyone involved.”
The Calgary Humane Society couldn’t give an exact number of cats seized because it’s still humanely trapping them, however, the scene was describes as a large hoarding event involving dozens of animals, including six birds.
All of the animals are currently being assessed.
“There were unsanitary living conditions for everybody,” Nichols explained. “There could be some respiratory issues, so we’re still trying to gauge here with our medical staff and it’s really a wait and see at this point.”
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Officials said this is the third large hoarding seizure within a six week period, stretching resources even thinner due to a high number of surrenders.
Other Calgary pet advocacy groups said they’re also seeing an increase in demand for their services.
“It’s very sad to see, unfortunately it’s not surprising. We’re seeing more and more of it and it’s tough,” said Melissa David with Parachutes for Pets.
The organization, which provides support for low-income families with pets, said it’s now working on a free booklet to help educate current and potential pet owners, including those who might be hoarding animals.
“I think there’s a lot of shame with it and relatives might feel like it’s not their place or they don’t want to get them in trouble,” David explained. “It’s really about getting help for the pets and for the people in that situation.”
David said the book is expected to be out this fall.
“Shelters are full, expenses are over the roof, so we’re really hoping this will be a great addition to help with this problem.”
The Calgary Humane Society said it’s currently working with the owner of the cats to process the scene and hopes to have an update on the animals on Friday.
So far, no charges have been laid.
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