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56 Hoarding Victims Recuperate At Mpls. Animal Control

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Dozens of animals removed from a home in northeast Minneapolis are being treated at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC).

Animal Control officers seized pets from a 56-year old woman’s home on Tuesday. The animals are in various stages of health, but some could be available for adopted as soon as late next week.

Veterinarian Terri Derr won’t get a description of the pain as she examines a grey/tabby cat mix. But, as she checks his injuries, she needs no explanation.

“This poor guy has a little bit of bone exposed at the end of his tail and an abscess,” Derr said.

The cat is one of 85 animals pulled from the home earlier this week.

“The condition of the animals is the worst I’ve seen,” she said.

Among the rescued animals are 49 cats, four dogs and three guinea pigs. There were 29 animals that didn’t make it. The survivors are now healing at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.

Jeanette Wiedemeier-Bower of MACC says the intake has created an emotional whirlwind amongst the staff.

“You have no idea how hard this is for our staff, the amount of tears. We’re angry, frustrated,” Wiedemeier-Bower said.

The task of helping the animals requires extra staff, but the sheer volume is still challenging. Dr. Derr has yet to examine every animal, and their trauma varies.

“Many of these cats have forgotten how to walk because they’ve been in such tight quarters,” said Derr.

The grey/tabby mix is one of the healthiest – never mind his respiratory infection, ear mites, low weight or the discoloration of his normally white paws.

“They’re stained yellowish or tannish. That’s because he was basically living in his own urine and feces for we don’t know how long,” she said.

But just days into the painstaking process of treating the animals, there are already signs of progress. The animals are regaining their ability to walk, and some are showing the desire to be held.

“These cats are really just aching for a great home, and that’s our end goal…to get them in great homes,” said Wiedemeier-Bower.

The 56-year-old former owner faces possible charges of animal cruelty.

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