More than 60 cats and kittens found in a Sandy Springs condominium at 9400 Roberts Road were removed by LifeLine Animal Project’s Fulton County Animal Services Officers on Sept. 23 and the condo was condemned.
The Animal Services officers answered a call from a neighbor and initially found 59 cats and kittens living in unsanitary conditions and another 15 dead cats in a freezer.
After getting the call, an inspection warrant was obtained and served with help from the Sandy Springs Police Department, said Karen Hirsch, spokesperson for LifeLine. Sandy Springs Code Enforcement condemned the unit.
The Fulton County Animal Services Officers set traps for more cats, and Sandy Springs Police Sgt. Salvador Ortega said 62 had been caught so far.
“Our LifeLine veterinarians and staff worked late into the night examining the cats, providing vaccines and triage, and getting them settled into the shelter,” Hirsch said.
She said more than 140 citations were issued that will be bound over to the state court for prosecution as misdemeanors.
“The man wasn’t charged with felony animal cruelty because the dead cats have not yet been examined by a vet,” Hirsch said of the homeowner. “We aren’t sure if a necropsy can be performed because the cats were frozen.”
The investigation continues, she said, and evidence will be reviewed by the Fulton County Solicitor and District Attorney.
“Everyone feels very sad for the animals and shocked that situations like this happen, but then we get to work. Our employees and veterinarians had 59 cats to take care of,” she said.
Now LifeLine has a bigger challenge, with all its shelters having limited space for cats. Renovations are being made to the cat trailer at its Fulton shelter and the Fulton veterinary clinic. With 451 cats taken in by LifeLine’s DeKalb shelter, and another 16 plus kittens from another hoarding situation by the Community Animal Center, they are stretched.
“We are in urgent need of foster homes for the cats who were already in our care to help create space for our new arrivals,” Hirsch said.