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Nova Scotia SPCA working to help hoarded cats find new homes

Many adopted already, others are receiving necessary medical care

2 min read
caption Terrance is one of the 25 cats that have already been adopted from the 80 that were rescued.
Nova Scotia SPCA

Twenty-five of the 80 cats the Nova Scotia SPCA rescued from hoarders last month have found new homes.

“Except for the 25 that we’ve adopted they’re all in some kind of different place along the way in terms of their rehabilitation and then eventually their rehoming,” Sandra Flemming, the provincial director of animal care at the Nova Scotia SPCA, said in an interview.

The SPCA originally rescued 72 cats in early November, and they were later joined by eight more. Unfortunately, nine of the cats died from a deadly virus.

The different stages of recovery for the remaining cats range from waiting for medical care to being socialized to live with people or finding places for them to live as barn cats.

“They come in, they’re assessed for their medical needs, for their behavioural needs, and then fitting them in along with the other animals,” Flemming explained, also saying that helping cats from hoarding situations is an ongoing process and never “80 cats in and 80 cats out.”

The cats are helped in what way best matches their needs. In the case of feral or semi-feral cats that can result from hoarding situations, for example, they are placed in a barn home where they can learn that the barn will provide them with food and safety.

Flemming said that this method of rehabilitation often results in great success, with some of the barn cats even becoming comfortable enough with people to become house cats.


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“It’s a bit like a puzzle that every single day multiple managers and staff and supervisors are trying to get these animals in and out of our care as efficiently as possible along with all the other resources that the society has to put towards other animals,” said Flemming.

The Nova Scotia SPCA has several different ways in which it helps animals in hoarding situations, including offering services for taking in accidental litters of puppies or kittens, as well as working with people who are hoarding to take a slow process for rehoming the animals so that it overwhelms neither the SPCA nor the people involved.

Flemming said they also have a food pantry that can help with litter and food, in addition to the other services provided.

“A lot of people don’t understand what we do, how much work is involved, and what programs we have. It’s really important that people understand and know what programs we have.”

Three of the rescued cats are currently up for adoption, and the others are being worked with to get them into the best possible place for them, whether that’s adoption as well or one of the SPCA’s other initiatives.

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Ben Roth

Ben Roth is a freelance journalist working in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a graduate of the University of King’s College journalism program where...

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