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Minnesota shelters ask for help after taking in hundreds of cats from hoarders around the state

Minnesota shelters take in hundreds of cats from hoarding cases
Minnesota shelters take in hundreds of cats from hoarding cases 01:55

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Minnesota animal shelters say they need help after being forced to take in hundreds of cats from hoarders around the state.

Investigators have found at least 265 cats in just three Minnesota homes since late February. 

Around 50 of them will be taken from a home in the Iron Range on Thursday. Then they'll be taken to The Bond Between, a Minnetonka rescue.

"We don't really know what to expect until we get there," said Rachel Mairose, the rescue's founder and director. "From the pictures, the cats look well-fed. They don't look super skinny. There's a lot of babies being made at that house."

Mairose says the homeowner passed away and left the cats behind.

Bond Between

After they get veterinary care, the cats will go to foster families. The rescue's already lined up several, but still need about a dozen homes.

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"Fostering is free," Mairose said. "We supply everything you need: supplies, food, crates, toys, training, so all you have to do is open your home and your heart to an animal in need."

While the Iron Range animals appear healthy, the same can't be said for the 100 cats rescued in Crosby last week, north of Brainerd, or the 120 taken from a Crystal home this year.

Police got involved in both cases. Both are still looking for fosters.

"There are multiple ways that it can get out of control for people quickly," Mairose said. "People love to point to hoarders as one way, and I always say it's really an interesting, intricate mental health problem. We never blame the person that's doing that. They truly believe they're doing what's right for the animal."

Mairose says it doesn't help that spay and neuter resources are harder to find in rural areas.

She urges people to support organizations that do high-volume spay and neuter in the Cities and in Greater Minnesota too.

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