Cat hoarding cases cause crowding at Humane Society

Adam Glanzman/Daily
Several of the many homeless cats that are waiting to be adopted at the Humane Society of Huron Valley on Thursday, Oct. 20. Buy this photo

By Chelsea Landry, Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 26, 2011

Forty homeless furry felines slept in the hallways of the Humane Society of Huron Valley this weekend after their owners were evicted for hoarding.

The cats arrived on Oct. 18 and 19 as a result of two animal hoarding incidents, according to Deb Kern, marketing director of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Police evicted the hoarders, and the cats were immediately taken to the already packed facility to await adoption.

“There’s no room left, and our foster homes are full,” Kern said. “Cats (are) in the hallway and in other places we wouldn’t normally have them.”

With the addition of the cats, the shelter currently has about 200 pets waiting to be adopted. Despite the unexpected influx of pets, Kern made it clear that HSHV will not euthanize any of the animals. However, she stressed the importance of families adopting pets from shelters.

“If you’re going to adopt, go to shelters first,” Kern said. “Do the responsible thing.”

In an effort to provide good homes for the animals, the HSHV is offering adoption specials. From now until further notice, HSHV is offering free adoptions for cats seven months or older on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is also offering free kitten adoptions with the full-price adoption of another kitten and will take $25 off the adoption fee for any dog.

Kern said the specials seem to be successful so far — 48 cats and 20 dogs found new homes last weekend. While the increased adoption rates are encouraging, HSHV “could still use help,” she said.

To encourage donations for the numerous animals in the shelter, HSHV has a “Wish List” posted on its website Some needed items include cat food, large rawhide bones, paper plates and used blankets or towels.

Kern said she hopes the HSHV’s recent efforts to encourage adoption will open more space at the HSHV facility, and the animals will find safe homes.

Though it’s often difficult for students to adopt animals due to housing restrictions, Kern said there are other ways to help resolve the crisis through volunteer efforts. The shelter frequently has volunteers from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, and many students also hold fundraisers, walks and food drives for the organization.

LSA senior Jessica Gonzales visited the shelter with her roommate last week to take advantage of the adoption specials. She brought home two kittens.

"The people at the Humane Society are super nice and helpful ... they kindly answered all the questions we had," Gonzales wrote in an e-mail interview. "When we went through the adoption process, they gave us all the details necessary for taking the cats home, introducing them to their new environment and even (gave us) a few bags of cat food to start off with."

She added that the adoption of both kittens cost $100 because of the Humane Society's adoption specials.

"I definitely think this is a reasonable price," Gonzales wrote.