At Least 700 Cats Seized
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Humane Society Photo
This article is about at least 700 cats seized in Alachua County, Florida. The Humane Society of the U.S. is in the process of conducting the largest raid in this countries history.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, the Humane Society went into Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary in Alachua County, Florida to save the precious cats there.
Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary is located at 21023 NW 168th and owned by Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz of Hillside, Florida. Alachua County Animal Services had been investigating reports of animal neglect there.
This "sanctuary" had been operating for several years and even had to be voted on and given approval by the County Commission before the sanctuary would be allowed in this neighborhood.
By Wednesday night almost 700 cats were rescued and taken to several warehouses where they are being treated by United Animal Nations, the Humane Society of the United State, veterinarians and many others. United Animal Nations alone has over 6000 specially trained crisis volunteers who will be helping for as long as necessary.
As of Friday, June 10, many of the cats are now showing signs of improvement. These cats were filthy to the point they no longer cared about grooming. Now that they are being cared for they are once again grooming themselves.
Here's a video on the story.
These cats are suffering from URI's, fleas, FeLV and FIV, and malnutrition. The volunteers are there to administer medication to the sick cats as well as clean their cages at least twice a day. I can only imagine the nightmare of keeping up with the medication for all of these poor cats.
The care they received upon rescue is amazing. Not only were veterinarians on scene to tag the cats who were in most need of care, the staff of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine were on site to do many of the initial physicals. With this number of cats to examine it is expected to take through the weekend to complete the exams.
When asked about the hoarding sanctuary (
for lack of a better term), Pennie Lefkowitz stated she had tried to get the number of cats down to comply with the law, but people kept leaving more cats.
It is hoped that after the red tape is sorted out on this case many cats will be reclaimed by their previous owners.
This case eerily reminds me of Caboodle Ranch. Please read their story by clicking on this link. The similarities include:
* People thinking they are leaving their cats where they will be cared for.
* Complaints by those who live near where the cats are supposedly cared for.
* Both are in Florida.
* The sheer number of cats involved in the case.
I would love for someone to write in and explain how the investigation at Havens Rest Cat Sanctuary was initiated. I believe there are many more sanctuaries out there who need to be examined. Does anyone know why one place is investigated and deaf ears are turned on others?
PLEASE enlighten me on this if you know the answer. Let's keep all of the volunteers who are helping care for the cats in our thoughts. Keep up the good work.