That phrase could routinely be used to describe our shelter but most especially these last couple of months. Since just November, Good Mews has rescued more than 40 cats from three separate hoarding cases in the metro-Atlanta area.
In the first case, police and Animal Control officers rescued more than 100 cats from a DeKalb County home. On the heels of that case, we received word of more than 50 cats living in stacked cages in a shed in Covington, Georgia, some that had lived in cages for up to three years. And in the first week of January Good Mews rescued cats from Coweta County Animal Control that were part of a case that a Coweta Animal Control officer said was one of the worst cases of cat hoarding they’d ever seen; 236 cats removed from a single home. Good Mews, and other area rescue groups, took as many animals as we were able to in these three cases..
When an established rescue organization such as Good Mews steps in, not only are innocent animals saved, tax dollars are saved. Area Animal Control facilities are spared the cost of treatment, boarding and, in some cases, euthanasia. However, there is considerable cost to rescue groups to take in so many cats at one time, and it limits our ability to save more cats. So the person who needs to find shelter for a cat because a relative died or because they’ve been forced to move is more likely to be turned away. No matter who intervenes in these cases, it can impact you in ways you may not have realized.
So why do rescue groups take in these cats if it’s such a potential strain? City and county shelters are required to take in every animal that is brought to them. When animals are seized in their jurisdictions and the space they have is overwhelmed by the influx, they have to make tough choices, and highly adoptable animals are often euthanized simply because there is no space to house them..
Alarmingly, there has been an increase in cases of hoarders who identify themselves as rescuers. It’s a big problem that requires a lot of effort to address. How can you help?
First and foremost, spay and neuter your pets – overcrowding in animal shelters leads to adoptable animals being put to sleep. Often it is these conditions that lead a well-meaning hoarder to take in “just one more” animal. One of the criteria for defining a hoarder is denial of the inability to provide adequate care and the impact on the animals, the household and human occupants of the dwelling.
Adopt don’t buy – there are animals of every shape, size, breed, color, age and temperament living in area shelters. Even if you are looking for a very specific animal, chances are there is a shelter or rescue group that has it. And by adopting, you free up space for that organization to rescue more animals
Spread the word to your friends and family about rescue organizations like Good Mews. Good Mews is a nonprofit organization that operates solely on grants and donations and is staffed by volunteers. Pick up an extra tub of litter or package of paper towels on your next trip to the grocery store. The animals (and humans!) appreciate every little bit you do to help.
The intent of this blog is not only to highlight the good works of Good Mews, but also to raise awareness of and promote conversation about the issues we face. As always, we encourage questions or comments.