Animal control officers began to remove about 80 cats, and a few dogs, from a house in Kansas City on Wednesday after the city received numerous complaints about cat hoarding.
About seven officers worked to remove the cats from a house in the 12000 block of East 56th Street, and by 3 p.m. nearly 50 cats had arrived at the KC Pet Project animal shelter. City officials said the house has been the subject of complaints for years.
The cats are being kept together in a temporary space the shelter uses in emergency situations, said Tori Fugate, marketing director for the shelter.
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With the large contingent of cats added to the usual number taken in by the shelter one by one, KC Pet Project will have about 100 additional cats.
“Which is insane,” Fugate said. “The cats generally appeared to be in pretty good shape. But it still puts a tremendous strain on our facility.”
The shelter has a “critical, critical need” for cat litter and cat food, Fugate said.
The cats will receive basic care before they are tagged with microchips, vaccinated, given medical treatment and offered for adoption at a later date.
Animal control officials have been to the house 16 times since 2009 for complaints about the number of animals, said city spokesman Chris Hernandez. The homeowner had a special permit to keep more animals than city ordinances typically allow, but the dozens of animals seized Wednesday exceeded those limits.
Wednesday’s action by animal control officials in effect revoked that permit, Hernandez said, which had allowed up to 10 animals under certain conditions.
The city tries to educate people about caring for animals responsibly, Hernandez said. In the meantime, the shelter is depending on support from the public to care for the cats removed from the home.
Anyone interested in helping the shelter can find information or donate at kcpetproject.org.