Some of the 75 cats removed from a cat hoarder in Williamstown remain in recovery, in what an animal rescuer describes as one of the worst cases he has seen.
As reported by Star Weekly in July, 55 cats and kittens were initially removed from a house by Western Suburbs Cat and Kitten Rescue.
Following our report, which revealed more cats remained on the property, Hobsons Bay council removed a further 20 animals.
The rescue’s founder, Nathan Miles said it was disappointing and tragic that almost half the cats had to be euthanased. However, he said it had been expected given their “horrific” condition.
The Lost Dogs Home’s Dr David Cunliffe said 36 cats were euthanased on humane grounds and because of severe behavioural issues which likely stemmed from their neglected health and poor socialisation.
Thirty-nine are either in recovery, awaiting adoption or have been adopted.
“The overall health and wellbeing of the cats was severely compromised with various complex pathways and plans required to save and rehabilitate most of them,” Dr Cunliffe said.
“Ringworm, flu and dental disease was common, needing medical intervention with some cases leading to surgery, while others [were] requiring longer fostering in a home environment.
“Animal hoarders are often secretive and fail to see the welfare problems in front of them.
“Cats breed prolifically [and that’s] where large scale problems can develop quickly. Hoarding continues to be a serious issue for councils and welfare agencies.”
The council’s corporate services director, Tammi Rose said numerous return visits had been made to the house.
“After the initial visit with the RSPCA, our animal management team has made numerous follow-up visits to collect all remaining cats in the household,” she said.
RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate team leader Tiffany Page said the investigation was ongoing.
“We urge anyone with concerns for the welfare of animals to make a report at rspcavic.org or call 9224 2222.”