After responding to a call regarding a noisy rooster Monday, Douglas County Animal Control officials found and seized more than 70 cats on property located off Prestley Mill Road in Douglasville.
Douglas County Director of Communications Wes Tallon said the cats were found in unsanitary conditions and that this appears to be an animal “hoarding” situation.
Tallon said the cats found on the property were registered to rescue group Snap-2it, an Atlanta-based non-for-profit rescue organization dedicated to helping animals in multiple ways, according to its website.. Penny Furr, a lawyer representing Snap-2it, also confirmed that nearly 70 cats were registered under Snap-2it.
“It is a suspicion that, due to overpopulation at the (Douglas County animal) shelter, that possibly the rescue organization took the cats because of the overpopulation and the risk of euthanization,” Tallon said.
Snap-2it said in an email that, “We would like you to know that this was not a ‘hoarding’ situation. The majority of the cats that were taken from us by (Douglas County Animal Control) are feral or ‘community cats’ and cats deemed as ‘special needs’ and as such are considered unadoptable by animal control and most other rescue organizations.”
Furr, former president of the Animal Law Section of the Georgia Bar, said Snap-2it did not hoard the cats.
“I have no idea,” Furr said when asked why an animal hoarding situation was mentioned. “I guess because they have a lot of cats, but they’re a rescue group, so they would have a lot of cats.”
Tallon said Douglas County Animal Control is leading the investigation and local police are not involved.
Seventy-eight cats had been identified as of Thursday, but officials suspect more will be found.
“Conditions (of the cats) certainly vary,” Tallon said. “Some are fine, some filthy, some hungry and some of them were on their own.”
The Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation Thursday and said the Douglas County animal control is acting appropriately.
Furr said the property belongs to Kayla Jones of Snap-2it. Furr also said Jones has a license from the Department of Agriculture as a rescue group.
A mobile trailer is being used to house the cats close to the Douglas County animal shelter.
Stephanie Bell, Cruelty Carework Director for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said her group is keeping a close eye on the investigation.
According to Bell, hoarders routinely create mass suffering while professing to take good care of the animals involved.
“People are not allowed to do this, even in the name of rescuing,” Bell said.
The Douglas County District Attorney’s office said no charges have been filed.
The county’s animal shelter is in need of cat litter, cat food, small litter boxes, bowls, wire kennels and volunteers to help clean cages and feed and provide water for the cats. Contact 770-942-5961 to volunteer.
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