All 37 cats rescued from a vacant Penn Forest Township home in July including a mother cat that adopted three orphaned kittens have found good homes, Carbon Animal Response Team coordinator Donna Crum announced Monday.
Because the cats are feral, they were placed in sanctuaries and local farms, she said.
One of the cats, which had had one kitten accepted a litter at Carbon County Friends of Animals that needed a mommy, Crum said.
Patrick and Mark Leigh of Moscow, Lackawanna County, who are the owners of the home at 31 Orange Lane in the Hickory Run Forest Development from which the cats were rescued, have given a generous donation to the animal cruelty fund, she said. Crum will divvy up the money among animal rescue groups.
The home's owners did their best, she said.
"They called 20 or 30 shelters, but they were full. They tried to do whatever they could. Their last resort was just feeding, watering them and keeping them contained. But they ran out of options," she said. The feral cats had been living in and around the house for years.
The development's homeowners' association also donated $500.
In addition, CART would like to thank those who helped with the rescue and the subsequent care of the cats. They include: Schuylkill County CART; Lehigh Valley CART; Tamaqua Area Animal Rescue; Carbon County Friends of Animals; Pennsylvania State Police; Penn Forest Township supervisors; the Hickory Run Forest Development homeowners' association; Christine Murillo; Susan Yaich at Jim Thorpe Pet Center; Furry Bellies pet store; the Youth Services Agency; and everyone who donated money, time or supplies.
But the good news was offset by Crum's announcement that she rescued two litters of kittens and five adult cats in Palmerton. Crum is also the county's animal cruelty officer.
An elderly woman had been feeding the cats, but a neighbor's relentless complaints forced their removal. Crum said all five cats are spoken for and the kittens are being fostered.
She asked that anyone who would like to adopt a kitten (or two) call her at (610) 826-4901.
Crum said she was "heavily scrutinized" for her decision to remove the cats.
"A lot of people wanted me to leave the cats up there and just go up and feed and water them and clean litter boxes. But the best thing to do is to take care of them immediately," she said.
But, she said, if left there, they would have had more and more litters and become ill from being closely confined over a long period.
"I always think of the animals first what's best for the animals involved," she said.
"People need to be more proactive spaying and neutering their pets to prevent similar problems."