How anyone can knowingly allow an animal to suffer and live in the deplorable conditions such as those found in an abandoned house in Ashcroft earlier this month is mind boggling, infuriating, and sad.
From there, 52 cats were taken in by the B.C. SPCA — some of which are being held at the Williams Lake shelter — after the property owners found a large number of cats in and around the structure and called the Ashcroft RCMP (see pages A1 and A2 for story).
A note was left by the cat hoarder(s), pleading with whoever found the cats to leave them and not call authorities because they were “trying to save them from being put down and the cats have no where to go.”
Because the cats were found when they were, few — hopefully none — are expected to be put down, but if they had been left there to suffer any longer, their fate would have likely been much different.
We understand that perhaps the person(s) really thought they were doing the right thing, that there may have been a mental-health issue involved, and judging by the note left, they may well have cared about the cats. But many of the cats are suffering serious medical issues and have severe eye infections, ear mites and worms.
Also disturbing is that the “person of interest” and another person may face breach charges, leading one to wonder if they had been previously convicted for similar acts.
If that is the case and if the same people are responsible for allowing the 52 cats to be kept in the conditions found near Ashcroft, we hope the law will be tough enough to ensure a repeated offence never happens ever again, that they will receive counselling and/or treatment, and be carefully monitored in the future.
We also hope that the animals will either be reunited with their original owners who may have lost them before or are adopted out to loving and responsible homes so they may be able to live out the rest of their lives in comforting, healthy, and safe environments.