Nearly 50 cats rescued from Springfield home and taken to local animal shelter

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 9:56 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield Animal Control and a local shelter teamed up for a major rescue effort on Tuesday.

The two groups spent hours retrieving nearly 50 cats from a Springfield home.

Two by two, animal control ushered cats out and prepared them for their next home. Rescue crews said retrieving the cats came with several challenges.

”You can’t just go straight in and get all the cats out,” said Rob Hardy with C.A.R.E. Animal Shelter. “That’s basically impossible.”

Hardy said the shelter is used to taking calls asking for help rescuing five to 10 cats, and animal control said it occasionally responds to calls for up to 20 cats.

“But something over 30 or 40, I mean 50 cats, this is a much more significant rescue,” he described. “And it does take an awful lot more planning and funding and everything else related to a 50 cat rescue to get this accomplished.”

Hardy said an effort like this one can cost thousands of dollars. All said and done, the shelter seeks to get the cats into new homes. Hardy said that could take time, because many of the cats are not used to human interaction.

“They’ve lived with the same owner for the last 10, 15, 20 years,” he described. “So they’re absolutely stranger danger when someone comes in.”

Springfield Animal Control assisted C.A.R.E. with trapping and rounding up all of those cats. Those teams said it was not easy finding them.

”There’s a lot of hiding spots for them,” said Heather Kellough with Springfield Animal Control. “And they’re all pretty agile. So that’s been a little bit of a challenge, because they can get behind some of the smaller spaces that none of us can get to.”

Kellough said there is a large feral cat population in Springfield, and from time to time people like to step in to help.

”Unfortunately, you have people that will move out and leave their cats, or if they no longer want them inside, they’ll just kick them out and let them go fend for themselves,” she said. “And that’s how you end up with a lot of feral cat colonies. Or you end up with people that really want to help them and feel bad for them, so they let them in the house.”

Kellough said this can often lead to uncontrolled breeding.

“If you have any kind of cat, whether it’s going to be inside or outside, go ahead and take the extra step to get them spayed or get them neutered,” she said. “That way they can still be outside, but they’re not going to be repopulating.”

Hardy said animal control was a big help in their efforts to rescue the cats.

”We are able to fast track their trip from what is essentially a hoarding case to the adoption center where they can find their loving families,” he said. “Some of them will take a bit more time to get socialized before they’re ready for the adoption center, but we are very hopeful for all the cats that they’ll be able to find their forever homes.”

The cats received all sorts of tests and shots on Tuesday. The next step is getting them ready for their next home.

”One of the struggles that we do have is trying to get a stray cat or a feral cat into a position where they’re comfortable being with their family,” Hardy said. “So yeah, it is a struggle from time to time, but we do have very good success with the amount of care and love they get at the adoption center.”

All of the cats will be spayed or neutered at a local clinic on Wednesday. They will also receive their rabies shots.

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