In a cooperative group effort, Colorado animal rescuers are handling the big job of removal and placement for 161 cats living with a Colorado Springs woman who is moving and unable to take the cats with her. According to news reports, the cats appear to be well socialized, healthy and well cared for, and were housed in large kennels in the woman’s house and garage.
The rescue operation came about by chance when Laura Lampley, a volunteer with Denver-based Colorado Animal Welfare League, spent two days in the hospital following a cat bite. Bored, Laura was browsing Craigslist when she saw a listing titled ‘Cats in need of homes.’ Laura guessed the number might be 15 or 20 and was taken aback to find the actual number of cats to be in excess of 150. The online post was placed by a friend of the woman keeping the cats. Laura contacted the friend, discovered the magnitude of the situation, and set to work calling in help.
Laura emailed every animal rescue group in the Colorado Springs area and had a crew ready to go within 48 hours, equipped with crates and food. She said, “It is pretty amazing, I think that is the biggest miracle, that all these rescues came together.”
Life Is Better Rescue came out from Lakewood with a large van to take the cats from the home. The cats were distributed among 13 area rescues. Organizations helping out include, Wild Blue Animal Rescue and Happy Cats Haven both of Colorado Springs, Pet Project of Pueblo, Life is Better Rescue of Lakewood, Every Creature Counts of Fort Lupton and Almost Home Adoptions of Westminster.
Carolyn Spillner, who went into the home, said “A lot of the cats, you could tell, had been socialized. A lot of the cats were with her all the time. No feral cats, which was good.” A sample group was tested as part of the initial wellness assessment, and all were negative for FIV and FeLV. Rescuers say the move will be stressful for the cats, but they are expected to be ready for adoption in a week or so.
Laura Lampley commented on this article, saying ” I can say they will be much better off in rescue; I saw most of the cats in person, all had horrible ear mites, and many had no whiskers due to fights breaking out with cats living in such close quarters. I know the folks at most of the rescues and have seen their facilities who took in cats and can assure everyone they are in a better place. They were in a windowless basement for 8 years, I don’t know how that is considered “better” than living on even the streets.”
Expenses for the cats’ rescue and care are expected to run into the thousands. The participating organizations are accepting donations to help meet those costs.
The woman who had the cats is not under investigation or being charged with any offenses. One of her stipulations in handing over the cats was that her name and location be kept private.