Monday, September 24, 2012

Emotional ties with an ill cat, saved from a hoarder

By:  Jonathan A. Segal

As a lawyer with Duane Morris in Philadelphia
In June, the Montgomery County SPCA was granted a search-and-seizure warrant to rescue 36 cats that were being hoarded in Hatboro. The stench of animal waste, fleas, and decay was everywhere. The animals cried out for help, for human mercy, from conditions that defy description.
We took pictures of what we found, but they are so horrific that we cannot publish most of them. The home was so decrepit that our officers required breathing apparatus and hazmat suits to enter the condemned building.
A lawyer for 25 years, I speak for management in employment matters. For the last eight years, I also have been a volunteer for the truly defenseless at the county SPCA.
On weekends, I find homes for my four-legged clients, primarily older cats and dogs that have so much love to give and ask only for love in return. This year, I was asked to join the board and happily said yes.
As part of my responsibilities, I now have exposure to hoarding cases. I hear people say that hoarders just have hearts that are too big. I cannot judge anyone's heart, but I can judge actions. The animals in Hatboro were neglected and abused. Make no mistake about it: Animal hoarding is abject animal cruelty.
Some of the cats we seized were very sick and still are receiving medical care. But others were well enough to be adopted and most, thankfully, have been.
One particular cat, who was in isolation, stole my heart. Perhaps it was how thin and frail he looked. Perhaps it also was his visible joy whenever he saw someone come into the room..."  More

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