Animal rescuers searching for homes for abandoned cats from Beamsville colony
An adoption event is planned for this weekend in nearby Grimsby
More than 80 living cats, including kittens just born, have been rescued from the abandoned cat colony in Beamsville that was discovered last month.
And some of the cats and kittens who are ready will be up for adoption at an event this weekend at a pet store in Grimsby.
Ontario's animal welfare organization says a hoarding issue may have contributed to a situation at an abandoned rural property where local rescue groups say they've found dozens of cats, dead and alive.
Pam Huson, the founder of a Beamsville rescue group, said she's never seen anything like it in more than 22 years rescuing animals.
"Cats and kittens have starved to death and the live animals are so malnourished and unhealthy that they require immediate and thorough medical attention," Huson said in a Facebook statement.
Rescue groups say they found 153 dead cats and four dead dogs, as well as more than 100 living animals in varying levels of health, in the Beamsville, Ont., property in the Niagara Region.
They've been raising money to cover what's estimated at $250 per adult cat for vaccinations, vet appointments and other things.
'A hoarding situation'
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it is in the midst of an animal cruelty probe, which began in December, working with a woman who they said used to rent the home on the property.
No charges have yet been laid.
"It did appear to be a hoarding situation," spokeswoman Alison Cross said last week.
One of the rescue groups helping to find foster and adoptive homes for the cats is critical of the OSPCA's handling of the situation.
"Neighbours have been reporting the colony for approximately a year and a half now, but no real actions have been taken until the state of the colony went public," according to the statement by Beamsville 4Paw Rescue founder Huson.
"Beamsville 4Paw Rescue is begging the OSPCA to take charge and bring justice to the animals and the community," the statement continues.
An online fundraiser launched by Project Save-a-Cat's-Life in conjunction with the Beamsville group has raised close to $12,000.
With files from Canadian Press