POLK COUNTY, Iowa – The number of live cats rescued from a horrific case of animal hoarding in rural Madrid continues to climb.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says since the initial rescue on June 4th, where 79 cats were rescued, 97 more cats from the property have been taken into their care. That brings the total to 176 living cats.
Unfortunately, 194 deceased cats have also been found on the property.
The ARL says they know more cats are on the property thanks to trail cams that have been put up. They are working with Polk County officials to extend a warrant, which expired Sunday, that would allow them to get back on the property to rescue the remaining cats.
“We knew on Day 1 with the amount of debris and with HUNDREDS of cats on the property that this was going to have to be a multi-day rescue,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the ARL. “We continue to catch about a dozen more cats each day, but with so many new people on the property and countless hiding spots, the rescue continues for those who have been hiding.”
Dennis Carlson is charged in the case. He faces one charge of animal neglect – death or serious injury which is a serious misdemeanor, as well as five charges of animal neglect – no death or serious injury and three charges of failure to dispose of a dead animal which are simple misdemeanors.
The ARL is asking for help to care for the cats from the Madrid rescue – you can learn how to help here.
Over the weekend a special “name your own price” adoption event was held to help clear some of the animals the ARL is already caring for from the shelter in order to make room for the Madrid cats.
A total of 112 pets were adopted, 82 of which were cats.
The ARL is extending the adoption event through June 16th for cats and dogs six months or older.