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Check back for my special section on rescuing 18 cats from a hoarder.Our thanks to KittenRescue.org located in Atwater Village PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THIS IS NOT OKAY AND THAT THEY CANNOT RETURN THESE POOR SOULS TO THESE CRUEL PEOPLE, NOT ONLY THAT THEY NEED TO BE PUNISHED. THANK YOU, PLEASE WRITE, CALL AND REPOST!***PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CROSS POST TO ANYONE INTERESTED***I wanted to send out an update on the hoarder who had all of those cats living in carriers. The more information that comes out about these people, the scarier it is.The apartment they had all the cats stashed in was not theirs. An acquaintance who knew they had a large cat collection felt bad that these cats were living in a trailer in the summer heat, and was able to secure the apartment to use as a crash pad for the cats. However, the presence of these animals and the condition they were in caused the goodwill of the landlord to quickly evaporate - meaning that the 30 or so that were spirited away this weekend (after the Animal Cruelty Task Force gave them a three-day head start to hide them) are not likely to ever go back there. However, it appears that Elle has been successful in locating the cats and has an exact address - it's on Oxnard near Lankersheim (in the East Valley district). Hopefully we can engage the Task Force, Animal Control and/or the police to actually do what they are supposed to do and take these animals and make arrests. We also have license plate numbers for their vehicles, thanks to Elle.In the meantime, the first sixteen cats that Elle was able to rescue are now safe and located at Kitten Rescue's private shelter. As a way of keeping everyone updated, I have started a blog where I will post updates and pictures (and links to more pictures). The blog is located here: http://hoardbust.blogspot.com. I can't guarantee daily updates, but I'll do what I can to keep the word out to all those interested in the fate of these poor animals.I'm sure the first question on all of your lips is, "what can I do to help?" There are several ways.> > CHECK OUT INCREDIBLE BLOG AND NEW PIX OF RESCUED> > HOARDED CATS!I'm sure the first question on all of your lips is, "what can I do to help?" There are several ways.1. The cats that have already been rescued need care- Our shelter is located in Atwater Village (between Glendale & Los Feliz/Silverlake). Any help in tending to these cats' needs would be greatly appreciated. Contact mail@kittenrescue.org to get involved - mention the "carrier cats" and we'll get you going.- Most of the cats need bathing and grooming.- Not all of the cats have been altered; we'll need help getting them to and from the vet- Many are scared, timid or semi-feral and would benefit from more socialization- We'd love to move some into foster care so they can get closer attention and so we can make room for the next wave- Donations of any sort - time, supplies, money - are always appreciated!2. There are 30 more cats in danger- We're pretty sure that we know where they are. Since our shelter doesn't have room for 30, they may need to go to a city shelter like the Angel Puss cats did. If so, we need a concentrated effort on the part of rescuers to make sure that all of them get out alive. Or, if there are any foster homes, private shelters or other places for any to go, please let me know right away!3. Never Again!- It is not enough to impound these cats. The hoarders should be charged with animal cruelty and an injunction issued against them preventing them from ever owning animals again. Any lawyers or legal minded people out there who want to take this on?4. The Bigger Picture- These people got a three day head start to hide their animals because the Task Force went into the apartment last Friday, saw 47 cats crammed in carriers stacked one on top of the other, and didn't see anything that warranted an immediate intervention As a result, 30 of the cats are now missing. In addition, there has been no indication of any intention to pursue these people or prosecute them for animal cruelty. This is not how it is supposed to happen. Animal Cruelty is a crime. When officers of the law come to the scene of a crime, they are not supposed to give the perpetrators time to cover their tracks. Can you imagine if police went into an apartment and found a child pornography ring or a meth lab and told the people there that they had three days to make it go away? I hope that some people reading this will join me in trying to help ensure that something like this never happens again.Thank you all for reading (assuming you made it this far). And thank you to Elle of Strangest Angels for all of her hard work in bringing this situation to light, and in doing something about it.Ben LehrerPresident, Kitten Rescue-----CLICK HERE FOR PIX Carrier Hoarder

Friday, July 21, 2006

A quick update on developments since yesterday: I have spoken with the supervising officer in the Animal Cruelty Task Force and Elle and I will be coordinating with him on getting the rest of the cats. We have an address, thanks to Elle's detective work. I have also received word from Ed Boks, the General Manager of Animal Services, that we will have their full support in coordinating this rescue effort - hopefully this means that the cats can be impounded and all evidentiary protocols followed to ensure a successful prosecution of the hoarders, and that we will be given time to work with the entire rescue community to get all of the animals out. This type of collaboration worked with the Angel Puss cats, and there were more than twice as many that time around. The city attorneys who would be responsible for prosecuting them have also been alerted.

- Ben

Thursday, July 20, 2006

And now...introducing the critters!

All 16 cats from what is hopefully the first wave were taken to Kitten Rescue's private shelter the evening of July 18. They were filthy from standing and laying in their urine and feces. The carriers smelled worse than a neanderthal's armpit. (I would know.) A number of them were too scared or feral to give thorough exams to; hopefully they will calm down in the ensuing days. Quite a few of them were severely matted, and many had patches of hair missing - possibly from malnutrition, matting and/or stress-related over-grooming, but also possibly due to mange or ringworm (our personal favorite). Everyone who was examined had ear mites. At least one appears to be pregnant. One thing that stood out was how thirsty all the cats were. Elle noted this during the time she had them in her apartment on Tuesday afternoon, and they have been drinking water like crazy. I guess there must not have been room for water dishes in those carriers. So far, everyone has been treated with Revolution. They will all be tested for FeLV and FIV on Friday morning.For pictures and descriptions of each of the kitties, go here: http://community.webshots.com/album/552419389tqdyjG

- Ben

Welcome to the "Carrier Hoarder" Cats blog. I am the president of Kitten Rescue, one of the several local animal groups helping out with the rescue of a large group of cats living in squalid conditions in a small apartment. Here is a brief recap for those who are not familiar with the story. On July 13, a rescuer named Elle, acting on a tip, went to an apartment in North Hollywood to see a couple who had accumulated 47 cats and kittens. They were living in carriers stacked on top of one another. The smell was overpowering. The cats looked ratty, were desperate to get out, and did not have adequate food or water. Elle included some heartbreaking pictures with her email, which I have uploaded here: http://community.webshots.com/myphotos?action=viewAllPhotos&albumID=552370660&security=jcjVDc Elle broadcast a plea for help to the rescue community. Many of them, including me, told her that she had to go to the recently-formed Animal Cruelty Task Force, as this was clearly a case of animal abuse. Elle contacted the Task Force and officers went with her to the apartment the next day. For reasons which still do not remain clear, the officers did not impound the animals and arrest the hoarders; rather, they gave them three days to address the poor living conditions that the cats were in, and left without doing anything. The hoarders took the opportunity to spirit away as many of the cats as they could in their trailer before Monday, when two different officers from the Task Force returned. These officers confiscated 16 of the remaining 18 cats. Why they chose to leave two behind is again unclear. The fate of the 30 or so cats that the hoarders had stashed is currently unknown, though Elle has some leads and hopefully they will be taken from these people shortly. After taking the cats, the officers turned them over to Elle and urged her to get them into rescue groups so they wouldn't have to go to the city shelter. Fortunately, because we had some advance notice, we were able to clear out some room at our private, no-kill shelter and create a special receiving room for them, and by the evening all 16 cats were out of Elle's apartment. I will post a separate entry linking to pictures of these cats, and describing the shape they were in. This rescue effort is ongoing. There are still 30 or so cats in the clutches of these sick people that remain unaccounted for. There is the matter of the Animal Cruelty Task Force failing to do its job and intervene in a timely fashion. Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending - the cats will all be rescued, cared for and placed into homes, and the horrible, sick people who perpetrated this abuse will be prosecuted for what they have done to these poor animals.

MY LIVING ROOM, GEEZ THANK U BEN LEHR, KITTEN RESCUE, 18 SAVED~"
VERY OVERWHELMING INVESTIGATION AND RESCUE BUT WORTH EVERY SECOND! ALSO WANTED TO THANK DAVID SALINAS WHO HELPED TRANSPORT
AND CLEAN THESE GUYS UP TO TAKE THEM TO KITTEN RESCUE! VENITA, MISSY AND THE DAW PROGRAM, THANK YOU!