These Pitman cats rescued from hoarder need homes — and human friends
Dozens of the 131 cats found in a home so squalid the smell of ammonia could reportedly be detected for several blocks are now available for adoption.
"They're all very nice — though some are more scared than others," said Judi Hibbs, an adoption clerk with the Gloucester County Animal Shelter.
The shelter has about 45 to 50 cats rescued from the Pitman home on hand, she said. Others have been picked up by local rescue groups. All are being evaluated and treated for medical issues, but Hibbs said she expects all will be in good enough health and behavred well enough to be adopted out.
For the cats, the transition has been a bit of a shock — moving from the unkempt home into sterile, clean shelter, she said.
"They're stressed — and then we move them to clean the cages, and they're even more stressed," she said. "It's just an awful situation. But they're beginning to come around."
Hibbs said the shelter needs volunteers willing to spend time with the cats — to help socialize them and get them used to human companionship.
So far, it has made arrangements to adopt out one cat, once it clears its medical screenings. Those interested in taking on others can make similar arrangements.
The shelter currently has six cats under 11 months old, 14 cats that are approximately 1 year old, and seven that are about 2 years old, Hibbs said.
Last week, the owner of the home was given 10 days to demolish it or get it up to code. A renter had been staying in the home with the cats, according to multiple reports.
The Gloucester County Animal Shelter said in an image it shared on its website and on Facebook it's now "very overcrowded," and offering the cats for adoption at a discounted rate of $25.
All the cats have been seen by a vet and have vaccinations, the shelter said. It can be reached at 856-881-2828 and is located at 1200 North Delsea Drive in Clayton.
In multiple reports, authorities were quoted saying the hoarding case was one of the worst they'd ever encountered — but all the cats inside lived.
The smell of ammonia and cat waste even outside was so powerful, "I don't know how the tenant wasn't deathly ill," Pitman Mayor Russ Johnson told New Jersey Advance Media earlier this month.
The case was one of two extraordinary hoarding rescues in New Jersey in December. Authorities rescued 19 cats — and found one deceased — after making their way through what an animal control officer in North Jersey also called “probably the worst case of animal hoarding I’ve ever seen.”
In that West New York home, the deceased cat was found behind a stove. Other cats had burrowed through the walls to make passageways throughout the house. Furniture was covered in urine and feces, and litter boxes overflowed for months.
The West New York home was deemed uninhabitable.