Truly an unbelievable story that you may not believe, if it weren’t reported by trustworthy newscasters. In Sussex County, N.J., the Byram Animal Rescue Kindess Squad, or commonly known as BARKS, received an email from a cat owner who was asking for some help. Sounds innocent enough, until Veterinarian Karen Dashfield showed up at the address the cat owner provided. What she saw when she went in the home, was nothing more than horrifying.
Dashfield said that because she is in the business of helping animals and personally, is a cat lover herself, knew that she was not going to go anywhere, or throw in the towel for what she was looking at, until every single cat was removed from the premises. She said that she knew they were in for trouble when the number of cats she was looking at, was beyond anything she had ever seen, for one residence.
The veterinarian described the home where the woman was living, as having 200 cats and it was by far, the worst case, and most extreme hoarding situation that she or the rescue, had ever seen or had to deal with. According to the president of BARKS, Darlene O’Connell, the smell was unbelievable, a horrific stench of fecal matter everywhere from the overcrowding of so many cats – cats everywhere. Just looking around, there was no way to know the numbers.
They removed 70 cats from the woman’s home and took them to the Byram Animal Shelter where they are being housed. Each cat had to be examined, vaccinated and paper work done to put them up for adoption. At the moment, they are having to find homes for some of the ones they have before they can go back and rescue more, due to the fact that they are at their capacity for what they can house. Most of the cats are pregnant, and because of the conditions that these cats were living under, most of the babies are being born stillborn, unfortunately.
BARKS is not disclosing where the home of the hoarder is because the cat hoarder is cooperating with authorities and BARKS and the cat collection was not done out of meanness or cruelty. It was actually done out of love, according to O’Connell. They were apparently trying to help the animals, but the collecting of cats grew out of hand and they lost control of how they were handling the growing numbers.
You can see the video on the story by clicking the link below.