June 7, 2011
The HSUS and Fla. Law Enforcement Rescue Nearly 700 Animals from Alleged Cruelty
Updated June 9, 2011
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team assisted Alachua County Animal Services in the rescue of nearly 700 cats who were found living in deplorable conditions in Alachua County, Fla. The Alachua County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant this morning at the Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary and all of the animals were seized by Alachua County Animal Services.
“Whether the sanctuary started with good intentions, it is now clear that it is unable to properly care for this number of animals, and we want to make sure they get the care and attention they need,” said Ashley Mauceri, deputy manager of Animal Cruelty Investigations for The HSUS. “We are grateful to Alachua County Animal Services and all of the groups that came together to assist in this rescue.”
When responders arrived on the scene they found almost 700 cats housed mainly in unsanitary wire pens throughout the eight-acre property. A veterinarian on the scene determined that many of the cats were underweight and suffering from medical ailments such as upper respiratory infections and parasite infestation.
This rescue was set into motion by Alachua County Animal Services, which received tips about allegedly cruel conditions and neglected animals in need of veterinary care and reached out to The HSUS for assistance with animal handling, transportation, temporary sheltering and, if necessary, permanent placement of the cats.
The HSUS called in United Animal Nations to provide animal care and sheltering support. The Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida will be assisting with medical treatment on the scene and throughout the rescue process. The ASPCA's (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) forensic services team is gathering and documenting evidence. PetSmart Charities® donated food and other much-needed supplies to the rescue efforts.
All of the cats are being safely removed and transported to an emergency shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical care. The HSUS and UAN will provide daily care for the animals until their custody is decided in an upcoming disposition hearing.
High-quality video footage and still photos from this rescue will be available on request.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.