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Wednesday, Jul 18th

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Dozens of cats rescued from hoarding situation

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By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent

It has become a joke in our society, but it really is not funny. The older person, usually a lady but not necessarily, who has taken in more cats or dogs than is responsible for them to keep, especially in the city.

It is a disease, with a name long enough to trip over, that affects caring people who honestly want to do the right thing and wind up with a total mess on their hands. Some call these folks animal hoarders, other collectors, but whatever the term, a mobile home on the 600 block of Jay Street in Gallup became overran with cats.

Gallup-McKinley Humane Society animal control officers are still trying to rectify the problem, which began earlier this week.

There have been 39 cats “rescued” so far, according to Humane Society Director Cosy Balok.

"Most of the cats we have removed are sick," Balok said. "They are all feral and know how to hide and escape capture. We are holding them at animal control but most will need to be euthanized.

Cats especially, when put into closed environments like they were, contract serious illnesses, including: leukemia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and upper respiratory virus."

A neighbor in the area, who asked to remain anonymous, said the woman living in the trailer often sat in her car or on the porch of her trailer. Neighbors were tipped off by the stench coming from trailer, prompting them to call authorities.

The ongoing hunt for more cats in and around this mobile home will continue until Balok is positive that all have been captured.

Balok stressed the advantages of vaccinating and caring for your pets, which includes spaying and neutering your loved ones to avoid having to care for possibly unwanted litters.

Contact your personal veterinarian or the Humane Society for more details and cost.