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  • PACC rescues 57 cats and kittens from trailer home

    Jan 20, 2017 | Read More News
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    PACC responds to hoarding caseOn Wednesday afternoon team members from Pima Animal Care Center’s Field Services Unit rescued 57 cats and kittens from a small mobile home in northwest Tucson.

    The cats and kittens were rushed to PACC, where staff, volunteers and Pima County JTED students worked together to weigh, vaccinate and deworm them. Working late into the evening, PACC’s medical team started treating all of the cats for ear parasites; many of the cats for thin body condition and dehydration; and several of the cats for severe, painful ear infections. The cats are mostly young to middle-aged, and further assessments found several cats who will require significant dental work, enucleation surgery or possible tumor removals. 

    PACC Field Services Manager Adam Ricci described the cats’ former living conditions as “deplorable” and not suitable for humane care. Ricci stressed that he and his team are not only working to help the hoarded cats, but their owner, too. 

    “Animal hoarding has been classified as a serious mental health issue,” Ricci said, citing the American Psychiatric Association’s inclusion of “hoarding disorder” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition.

    Yesenia Larios and Caylie Hempel help feed rescued kitten“This isn’t someone who was breeding animals to sell, this is someone who needs our help,” Ricci added. “We’re here to assist the community, and we want to continue providing education, solutions and support.”

    Ricci encourages concerned community members to call (520) 724-5900, ext. 4, if they or someone they know appears to be struggling with pet hoarding. 

    The case is still under investigation, so it remains unknown when the cats will be placed up for adoption. PACC Director of Operations, José Ocaño, said his team is currently focusing on the cats’ medical needs. In the coming days, they will move on to assess the cats’ behavior and determine whether they are suitable for traditional adoption, or if they will need another life-saving option, such as placement into PACC’s Working Cat Program. 

    “Our ultimate goal is to save the savable, and we’re going to do everything we can to get these cats out,” Ocaño said. 

    As of Friday morning, PACC had more than 500 pets in its care, hundreds of whom are already altered and ready to go home with adopters. To help the shelter provide compassionate care for these hoarded cats, PACC encourages the community to adopt a pet in need from its shelter, 4000 N. Silverbell Rd., or its five PetSmart Adoption Centers. Those who can’t adopt can still help PACC save these cats by making a tax-deductible contribution to the shelter’s Medical Fund.

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