FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward Humane Society along with the staffers from from nine other animal care agencies are helping the Madison Co. Sheriff's Office in the northern part of the state remove hundreds and hundreds of cats from a non-profit cat sanctuary which was reportedly overcrowded and unsanitary.
After a year of investigation, the sheriff's office served a warrant on the Caboodle Ranch in Lee, which is about 65 miles east of Tallahassee. The founder of the facility was arrested and will face multiple animal cruelty charges.
It was then up to the animal services workers to begin removing the free ranging cats which the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) said was the most they've ever tried to remove from one location.
"This is a tragic situation. Caboodle Ranch was clearly overwhelmed with hundreds of cats in dire need of medical treatment, and the sanctuary had no adoption program or any spay/neuter efforts to effectively manage its current population," said ASPCA senior field investigations director Tim Rickey.
"Removing hundreds of animals is a huge undertaking, and we are truly grateful that these agencies offered their assistance in the case," said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team.
Many of the cats exhibited various signs of neglect and appear to be suffering from upper respiratory conditions and eye infections, among other medical issues, according to the ASPCA. Several cats were in critical condition and responders discovered numerous deceased cats on the property.
Once rounded up, the cats will be taken to a temporary shelter where they will be checked up by veterinarians. Staff from the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at UF, have been called in to assist with the rescue operation.
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