Tewksbury Animal Control, Other Humane Orgs Pitch in to Help Cats Whose Owner was Overwhelmed with their Care
Methuen and Tewksbury, Mass. Feb. 24, 2022 – Thirty two cats living in a single Tewksbury, Mass. home were surrendered to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm on Feb. 22 after their overwhelmed owner could no longer care for them, prompting a call for donations from shelter officials concerned about the level of medical care they will require before being placed into new homes.
Veterinary exams performed at Nevins Farm revealed that all 32 cats, save for three, are suffering from upper respiratory infections, and all have painful, itchy ear mites as well as periodontal disease.
“Moreover, the majority [of the cats] have experienced severe, irreversible eye changes as a result of untreated infections—including eyelids adhered to corneas and old ulcers, and some are missing at least one eye,” said Meaghan O’Leary, director of operations for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.
The team plans to test for ringworm later this week and the results of those tests—as well as how well they are responding to treatment for respiratory infections—will determine whether they will be available for adoption next week, or whether they must stay on for further treatment.
The cats were voluntarily surrendered from the home. Their previous owner’s identity has not been revealed.
The cats’ medical care needs are expected to reach $10,000 and Nevins Farm officials hope donors may step forward to help offset the cost of this care. Anyone wishing to donate can do so via www.mspca.org/cats.
O’Leary answered the call for help from Tewksbury Animal Control, who were first on the scene. “This is a case where one of the owners had died and the surviving spouse just could not take care of all these cats, especially as their health issues got more serious, and [he] was desperate for help,” she said.
“We’re fortunate to be able to help in these situations, and our sole intention is to help the cats heal and then place them into loving homes.”
The cats range in age from six months to about 10 years. A further 59 cats living in the home were directed to other humane agencies as well as Tewksbury Animal Control.
The Road to Recovery
O’Leary says it is too early to predict when the cats will be made available for adoption, but the organization hopes to have an update on availability the week of Feb. 28. “In addition to treating their health issues we’ll ensure that all are spayed, neutered, microchipped and up to date on their vaccinations—and that will take some time given how many there are,” she said.
Once the cats are made available, would-be adopters will be able to apply at mspca.org/nevinsadopt.