In a horrific case of animal neglect, 91 cats were removed from a single home in Tewksbury, and 32 of whom are in the care of MSPC Nevins Farm in Methuen for treatment of nose, throat, mouth, eye and ear ailments, the nonprofit animal hospital said Thursday.
The rest of the cats were sent to the Tewksbury animal control officer and other humane groups, the statement said.
The animals were removed Tuesday from the home, where a person who had cared for the cats recently died, the statement said. The town’s animal control department first responded to the home and then contacted MSPCA-Angell for help, the statement said.
“This is a case where one of the owners had died and the surviving spouse just could not take care of all these cats, especially as their health issues got more serious, and [he] was desperate for help,” Meaghan O’Leary, director of operations for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm said in the statement.
The owners have not been identified, the statement said.
The 32 cats sent to Nevins Farm were in “rough shape” with 29 suffering upper respiratory infections and all 32 having painful, itchy ear mites and periodontal disease, the statement said.
“Moreover, the majority [of the cats] have experienced severe, irreversible eye changes as a result of untreated infections—including eyelids adhered to corneas and old ulcers, and some are missing at least one eye,” O’Leary said.
They have not yet determined if the cats will be available for adoption next week as treatment for the respiratory infections and then testing for ringworm continues, the statement said.
The MSPCA is collecting donations for the cats’ care, as costs are expected to be $10,000, the statement said.
The cats will receive vaccinations and be spayed, neutered and microchipped in the following days or weeks, MSPCA said.
“We’re fortunate to be able to help in these situations, and our sole intention is to help the cats heal and then place them into loving homes,” O’Leary said.
Madison Mercado can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.