PHOTOS: In Winsted, 150+ Cats Being Removed, Volunteers To Help Sought

WINSTED, CT — With around 150 cats being removed and relocated to a local school, the town of Winchester is asking for volunteers to help them deal with the huge number of animals it must now care for.

As Patch first reported, a complaint led officials to a Winsted home this past weekend where some 150 cats were found, all in various stages of health, officials confirmed.

Early Thursday, Patch had reached out for more information to state and local officials, including Winsted/Winchester police Animal Control Officer Alicia Campbell, and Winchester town government officials, including Town Manager Josh Kelly.

Find out what’s happening in Across Connecticutwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

By the early afternoon, Kelly confirmed that the town is dealing with the case.

“We are all currently on a call that includes our ACO, other Winchester police officers, the state, the Torrington Area Health District, our fire marshal, our town director of Social Services, and other town departments,” he wrote in an email to patch.

Find out what’s happening in Across Connecticutwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“All key departments are aware of this situation, and we are coordinating our response closely and carefully,” Kelly wrote.

But he added that it is an “active police investigation and updates will be given to the press after the investigation has concluded.”

Patch won’t name the person involved in this animal hoarding case until police charge them.

The state Department of Agriculture’s Animal Control Unit confirmed it’s working with the town.

Some official sources, who declined to be named, confirmed that there were talks Thursday on where the cats and kittens will go. Seized pets cannot be placed in shelters, if any were available, without ensuring that they are disease-free.

At 1 pm, Thursday, it was learned that as many as 150 cats are in the home and that those animals would be relocated to Batcheller School.

“Our top priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all people and animals that are currently at the site and to relocate the animals to a safe location,” Kelly wrote on Facebook late Thursday.

Some on social media questioned whether there were that many cats in the house. Kelly said yes, there were.

“At this time, we know there were at least 150 cats. These are facts, I have seen a majority of them with my own eyes,” Kelly said.

By Friday, the cats began being removed. Kelly admitted the town needed help.

“We will likely need help as we work to get these animals relocated,” he said.

Animal advocate and volunteer Kristine Cormier posted to Facebook Thursday an “urgent plea” for “rescues & fosters needed IMMEDIATELY.”

“Some cats have been removed and about 100 -115 more still need to be removed,” Cormier wrote. “Also, we need to borrow cat carriers / crates, so if anyone can lend us some it would be appreciated.”

One official told Patch that this case is “really bad.”

Friday, the town asked for help via Twitter.

“We need volunteers who are willing to work with cats (in-person at Batcheller School) and give water, food, and keep their litter boxes clean. Please email me at townmanager@townofwinchester.org with your name, phone number, and your availability (days and times) to volunteer.”

Kelly said that the “prior caretakers” are working with officials.

“This is a situation where a clear need is present, and we are rising to meet that need,” he said.

Cormier was one of many who went to the town to help Friday. She shared several photos from the school where the rescued cats are being housed on Facebook and with Patch. Some are hard to see.

She also shared what the immediate needs include: soft cat food, cat litter, small bowls, and monetary donations for medical care

Donations can be made at the school, located at 201 Pratt St., in Winsted. Monetary donations can be made via check made out to the Town of Winchester CT with ‘Animal Care’ in the memo line. Winchester Town Hall, 338 Main St. Winchester, CT 06098.

Who’s responsible & what happens in cases of extreme domestic animal cruelty and hoarding?

It appears, based on a cursory look at the state agriculture department’s animal control division web page, that there’s no policy on animal hoarding.

It does have a program called Second Chance Animal Adoption Program that is supposed to coordinate with municipalities in investigating and “making arrests in association with complaints of animal cruelty.” It’s noted that “these cases can lead to these animals being placed in the care and custody of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.”

Goal 150 cats? Where do they go?

The Second Chance rehabilitation facility in Niantic houses farm animals, mostly horses, goats, cattle and the like. Though it does note that it makes “every effort to find suitable homes for the domestic animals” that have been removed.

Given that this is a criminal case by Winchester Town Manager Kelly, the cats are evidence. The agriculture department says that “once the courts grant the agency the care custody of these animals, our State Animal Control Officers strive to arrange for them to be adopted by responsible individuals or organizations.”

What happens in the meantime? The person who had the 150 cats in her Winsted home has not yet been charged. And a criminal case could take months, or more, to be adjudicated.

A breaking news story, refresh for updates.


Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Related Articles

FLOODING PRECAUTIONS | Florida Department of Health in Orange

Contact:Kent Donahue Kent.Donahue@flhealth.gov407-858-1418 ORLANDO, FL – Based on weather forecasts for Hurricane Ian, our area will be impacted with winds and rainfall. It...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

FLOODING PRECAUTIONS | Florida Department of Health in Orange

Contact:Kent Donahue Kent.Donahue@flhealth.gov407-858-1418 ORLANDO, FL – Based on weather forecasts for Hurricane Ian, our area will be impacted with winds and rainfall. It...

Do you plan to stay in a shelter for Hurricane Ian? Here’s what to expect.

Floridians fleeing weather's worst know they might land at a public school for respite from the storm.The Pinellas County school district closed three of...

BARC’s Grim Statistics: More animals euthanized

HOUSTON – BARC, Houston's city animal shelter, saw a significant uptick in the number of animals euthanized from April to June of this year,...