Dozens of cats rescued from hoarding situation at Jeannette home

JEANNETTE, Pa. — Animal rescuers were back out a Jeannette home Tuesday trying to trap a dozen cats that still remain outside a property.

Humane officers called it a hoarding situation that involves about 70 cats.

Sonja Eckelberry said she has been trying for years to help the growing cat problem that’s been taking over this block of Gaskill Avenue in Jeannette.

“It started out with an odor. And then it progressively got worse. And then cats hanging out of the windows everywhere,” Eckelberry said. “I just couldn’t even enjoy my porch. My dogs are running out of my yard after the cats. Neighbors have feces in their yard, can’t cut their grass. The odor.”

Humane officers showed up at the house in the 900 block two weeks ago and told the people inside they had to clean up the cat population.

When they came back, the people living here were in the process of being evicted, and more cats started popping up outside.

“Kittens started showing up within the block area and several cats in the backyard of this particular residence and this week, several adults started showing up in the backyard in the bushes,” humane officer Andrea Palmer said.

That is when Furry Felines rescue and humane officers stepped in.

They found nearly 70 cats roaming the property.

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So far, 59 have been rescued and volunteers have about a dozen more to go.

“All appear to look alike, missing tails, have to be related. They’re all friendly, so they’ve been handled and loved upon,” Palmer explained.

The rescue said the supplies and basic vet care will top $8,000, with some needing more extensive medical care than others.

Neighbors said they are thankful the cats are being treated and taken care of, and they are hopeful they will quickly find forever homes.

“I am very excited. I’m happy for the cats. These people they worked their butts to catch them all,” Eckelberry said.

“Start spaying and neutering cats, and animals; dogs. We’re overpopulated with the cats. The cat community, the cat rescues, they’re phenomenal but they’re overwhelmed,” Palmer said.

So far, no charges have been filed but humane officers say potential charges could include neglect and abandonment.

If you would like to help the rescue center, Furry Felines, here is a link: https://wpxi.tv/3g35YRD

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