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The HSUS Helps Rescue 43 Animals from North Carolina Breeder

The HSUS, Guilford County Animal Shelter, and the Davie County Sheriff’s Department work together on unique rescue effort

  • Domestic cats are bred with servals to get Savannah cats. Beautiful but wild, they do not make good pets. Gayle Shomer

The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team was called in by the Davie County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the rescue of one goat, one rabbit, six dogs, and 35 domestic and exotic cats from a breeder in rural Davie County. The cats include domestic breeds and Savannah cats, which is a hybrid produced by breeding domestic cats to wild African serval cats.

The animals were being housed in unsanitary conditions and lacked proper socialization and medical care. The Davie County Sheriff’s Department seized the animals. Hybrid Savannah cats do not make suitable pets and exhibit wild instincts, including excessive spraying to mark their territory; HSUS warns against private ownership of these animals.

The Davie County Sheriff’s Department called in The HSUS to assist in evidence collection, animal handling and financial assistance with the care of the animals, after they received reports of unsanitary conditions from a concerned citizen. The Guilford County Animal Shelter will also be assisting with the removal and care of these animals.

“With thousands of homeless cats currently languishing in North Carolina shelters it is especially wrong to have a commercial breeding facility in our state churning out cats and adding to the problem,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “These cats should not be living in small cages and suffering for the financial gain of their owner.”

“No one should keep animals in these conditions, and if they do we are going to come after them,” said Robert DeWitt, animal cruelty investigator for the Davie County Sheriff’s Department.

When responders arrived on scene they found 35 cats living crowded in small enclosures and penned underneath an outdoor deck. Many of the cats and kittens were underweight and suffering from upper respiratory infections and parasite infestation. The goat, rabbit, and dogs were also in poor physical condition. The property had an overwhelming stench of ammonia and there were large amounts of feces present in the enclosures.

Responders are safely removing all of the animals and transporting them to an isolation area at the Guilford County Animal Shelter where they will receive any necessary medical treatment. The Guilford County Animal Shelter is evaluating the animals and looking into proper placement options.

The HSUS would like to send a special thanks to Stacey and Don Kivowitz of Dallas, Texas, for their support of this rescue mission.

Photos and video of the rescue will be available shortly via email request to the contact below. 
Media Contact: Jordan Crump: 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

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