SANTA CRUZ -- Officials with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter recently seized 74 cats from a one-bedroom trailer in the Summit area where they were being kept in unsafe conditions, including inside the walls, a shelter official said.
Field Manager Todd Stosuy said he confiscated the cats after visiting a Stetson Road mobile home complex Sunday, responding to a call from a concerned neighbor who thought a home there had 30 or 40 cats that were breeding and being kept in substandard conditions.
Stosuy found friendly felines inside and outside of the small home, including some who had clawed their way inside the walls to find some space, he said.
The two residents were cooperative, he said.
"It was one of those situations where it was a very unhealthy situation for the animals and the humans," Stosuy said. "There was not a clear spot on the floor anywhere. It was in complete disarray. If it had spiraled any further out of control who knows what would have happened."
Fortunately, all but three of the cats were in good health and are very social, he said. Several were pregnant.
The cats are bonded with one another and shelter officials are considering some kind of two-for-one special so they can be adopted in pairs, Stosuy said.
"These cats are beautiful and they are in love with each other," he said.
They will be spayed and neutered and put up for adoption by Thursday, he said.
As for their owners, he
"We are working closely with them to get the numbers down, to four cats," Stosuy said.
He said it was a case of hoarding, which he said was an obsessive compulsive disorder.
The women were advised that animal cruelty charges were possible if they start hoarding animals again, Stosuy said.
For information, go to www.scanimalshelter.org, visit the shelter at Seventh Avenue and Rodriguez Street in Live Oak, or call 454-7200.
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If you go
WHAT: During the Black FUR-iday event at the shelter, all animals with more than 50 percent black fur will be $25. All other animals will be half price.
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23
WHERE: Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, 2200 Seventh Ave.
INFORMATION: Go to www.scanimalshelter.org.