Wife terminally ill, 80 healthy cats need forever homes

(KATV) The Humane Society of Pulaski County has an unusual case. A Woodruff County family is giving up their cats; there were about 80 at last count.

By definition it is a hoarding case, but that word is also connected to things that don't have value. Humane Society staff wants to explain why they are staying away from the word "hoarding".

These are pictures staff with the Humane Society of Pulaski County took while at a home in a remote area of McCrory. Dr. Teresa Medlock says, "Usually when we get called, it is when we have to go in with law enforcement, the animals are in poor shape and the conditions are deplorable. That wasn't the case with these cats. This gentleman loved these cats."

Channel Seven asks Dr. Medlock, "How is this situation different from a hoarding case? She answers, "These animals were well cared for, over 90-percent of them have all been sterilized by the owners. They did actively try to prevent the problem for getting worse."

There are about 80-felines, from kittens, up to 16 years old. All stayed outdoors and most have names. The couple has spent thousands of dollars on vet visits.

The man only made the difficult decision after his wife became terminally ill. Dr. Medlock says, "All the cats are in excellent health, well fed, loved and very social."

Currently, there is limit space at the crowded, no-kill shelter. Staff was only able to take in 21 cats. Each will be in quarantine as protocol for two weeks to address vaccinations.

Dr. Medlock says they're not sick, not even fleas or mites. "Until we can get some adopted out, we can't bring anymore in."

Food outside is one reason there are so many cats at the home. The family is doing their part to find homes for the cats. They plan to keep two that survived a house fire.

Normally adoptions cost $60-$90 but the fee has been reduced to $30 in hopes the shelter can make room for dogs and cats currently on a long waiting list to be rescued.