News

More than 100 cats rescued from Sussex County home in need of new owners

WANTAGE, NJ (Sussex County) – Over 100 cats that were rescued last month from a Sussex County home that had fallen into disrepair, without electricity or running water are up for adoption, according to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.

The center has taken on an emergency cat rescue operation larger than any one we’ve previously undertaken and needs the support of the community to assist us caring for these most needy newest temporary residents. The center was asked to assist with the rescue, sheltering and rehoming of what was initially thought to be up to 100 cats unconfined on a rural property in Sussex County.

One of the original caretakers of the cats passed away within the last few years and the other elderly resident became overburdened and unable to provide care for them. The home and property have fallen into disrepair, now without electricity or running water. We were advised that over the years some cats had been removed from the site but the situation was never fully resolved and so the number continued to grow.

With the cooperation of the property owner and concerned neighbors St. Hubert’s agreed to take custody and responsibility for the cats, originally intending to remove them in small groups over a period of time while providing food and water to those awaiting relocation. Upon assessing the situation on site and with an intense heat wave beginning, it was determined that the majority of the cats were undernourished, a number of them also exhibiting symptoms of illness and/or injury. Plans were made to mobilize immediately to rescue the cats. A staging area for intake and triage/treatment was set up quickly at the Madison shelter and an additional staff member, experienced in trap/neuter/return and apprehending cats in difficult situations was added to the team in order to expedite getting the cats to safety.

Due to the oppressive heat, the field team was on site at dawn beginning on June 26 and also worked late into the evening to gather up the cats and bring them to Madison where the medical and care teams tended to their needs. As the week went on and cats were transported it became apparent that the individual estimate of 100 was conservative—172 cats have been welcomed to St. Hubert’s to date and the field team remains vigilant at the site to be certain none will be left behind.

All of the cats rescued have been vaccinated, dewormed, treated for fleas and spay/neuter is being provided. Some are being treated for illness or injury of varying severity, while others are expected to be available for rehoming soon. Responsible farm/barn homes will be sought for those cats unable able to transition to living as indoor house pets.

In order to accommodate this large group and to provide them with a calm, comforting environment as they recover we have re-organized the space at our Noah’s Ark Campus to serve as the emergency cat shelter. Animals from Noah’s have been temporarily moved to our other shelters in Madison, North Branch and the Everyday Adoption Center inside PetSmart Mt. Olive.

We continue to be open for adoptions 7 days a week at those sites and will update when we have a projected date for the re-opening of the Noah’s campus.

Monetary gifts to help with the costs of general care, spay/neuter and medical treatments from relatively simple to more serious can be made here. Food, litter and supplies can be dropped off at our shelters or ordered from our Amazon wish list for direct shipment at go.sthuberts.org/amazondonate.

Those willing to provide a pair of these deserving cats with a comfortable barn/farm home email St. Hunert’s at info@sthuberts.org and they’ll call you.

(Photo Credit: St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center)