SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The MSPCA was in Housing Court in Springfield Friday to ask for custody of dozens of cats that were removed from a condemned Ludlow home
The MSPCA and Animal Rescue League have already removed 42 cats from 28 Highland Avenue in Ludlow, and there could be more living there.
"Stress has brought on some upper respiratory virus for a few of them. There are a couple that have eye issues. Some are very protective of their food. They were starving, so food is a valued resource for them," said Candy Lash of Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.
Two people were removed from the home in January for medical reasons, but all the cats were left behind. They're now being treated and cared for by the MSPCA, Animal Rescue League and Dakin Humane Society. But without legal custody of the cats, the agencies can't put the healthy ones up for adoption.
"We'd rather have the cats placed as quickly as possible so they're not in a stressful environment, so they can go to a home. They deserve to be in a nice, loving, warm, safe home," said MSPCA law enforcement officer Christine Allenberg.
And not only is a long-term shelter stay bad for the cats, it's a big financial burden for the agencies.
"It's incredible the amount of money that's put into these animals, and time. That to me is the most important, the time that's put in so they have a chance," Allenberg said.
Allenberg hopes they'll get custody of the cats at their next hearing on February 25th. Ludlow town representatives were also in court today; they were ordered to do an assessment of the home and begin developing a plan for cleanup. To help support Dakin as they care for these animals, visit www.dpvhs.org/support