Categories: volunteers

Whistleblower claims horrific conditions at cat rescue and shuts it down but video contradicts her

A cat rescue organisation, Half The Way Home in Woodstock, Cherokee County, USA, temporarily housed in a cottage, has had its licence revoked by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) because a volunteer, Brittany Satterfield, who worked at the rescue said she was completely horrified by the conditions and that ALL the cats were laying in their own vomit and diarrhea.

“They were all laying in their own vomit and diarrhea, screaming,” she said. “There’s a lot of cats that need medical care.”

Yet when we see the video we don’t see all the cats in a dire state of ill health, lying in their own vomit and poop, screaming, do we?

Half The Way Home cat rescue in Woodstock. Do you see ALL the cats screaming and lying in their own vomit and poop?

I find the disconnect between her words and the images startling. What I see in the video a lot of cats in a residential home. It does not look good. However, as mentioned, I don’t see horrific conditions or piles of vomit and faeces. That’s an exaggeration.

That said the GDA had an upper limit under their license of 100 cats and there were 108 at the rescue. They issued a letter of violation and suspended the licence for 2 years.

The lawyer, Mitch Skandalakis, acting for the non-profits CEO, Dana Starr Rittelmeyer, said that the cats were not found injured and the conditions were not that bad.

“They’re good people. They were not hoarding cats … because of a few disgruntled people, they unfortunately got shut down…”

He said that the non-profit is going to regroup and come back after the two year suspension.

Another cat rescue, Furkids in DeKalb took in 88 of the cats. Atlanta News (AJC) reported that many of the cats needed medical treatment. There were broken bones and runny eyes (URIs).

It seems that there were failings and the standard of care was substandard but Brittany was exaggerating judged by what I see and read in the AJC report. Am I missing something? Does Brittany have a grudge against Dana Starr Rittelmeyer?

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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