The last of more than 100 cats, including about 20 kittens, recently removed from a Toronto home have been transferred to animal shelters and foster homes.
A crew from the Etobicoke Humane Society was at the residence on Saturday to round up 41 cats that still remained inside. Workers and volunteers from the Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Cat Rescue, along with officials from Toronto Animal Services, had been at the home throughout last week corralling the cats and moving them to their respective facilities.
“The cats seem to be in pretty good condition. They have some minor health issues but by and large they seem in good shape,” said Cristina Scassa, president of the Etobicoke Humane Society.
“They’re now — at least the ones with us — resting comfortably and getting used to their new surroundings, whether it is in the shelter or with fosters,” she added.
According to Scassa, 17 of the cats her organization took in have already found homes. She predicts that most of them will be adopted over the next three months or so.
“There will be a few that take a little longer,” she told CBC Toronto in an interview on Sunday.
Toronto Animal Services will spay and neuter all of the cats, give them their vaccinations and implant them with a microchip. All of the males have been separated from their female counterparts until that process can be completed.
Many of the cats had never had contact with any humans other than their original owner. Scassa said that most are “very shy” and that it will take some time before some are ready to be fostered.
“Our volunteers spend time with them, socializing them, so that they get used to being with people. That’s normally the biggest fear that they have,” she explained.
The Etobicoke Humane Society has called in some extra volunteers to help out. The shelter usually accepts between 35 and 45 cats each month, so the influx of animals from this single home has put the facility at capacity.
Scassa said that once news of the situation became public on Monday, there was an outpouring of public support and donations. Many people offered up pet carriers, food and litter. Her organization also spent last week preparing foster kits with everything prospective owners will need to adopt one of the cats.
The animals range in age from kittens to adults. Scassa stressed that they were well-cared for by their previous owner, who she says “loved them,” but the situation became too overwhelming. The cats had been breeding within the home.
“The whole house was just completely and totally overrun and that did not make for a great situation for the cats,” she said.
Experienced cat wranglers were brought in to remove the animals from the house. For privacy reasons, no further details about the residence or the owner have been released, as it was not deemed to be a situation of animal negligence.
Scassa said that while a case of this magnitude is quite rare, she has seen multiple instances of homes with dozens of cats.
“It happens more often than you would imagine and certainly more often than we would like.”
Toronto Cat Rescue took in 50 of the animals, while the remainder went to the Toronto Humane Society.