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Purrfect Pals team up to help rescue cats
LAKEWOOD — It wasn’t exactly work as usual this past week for Lakewood’s Purrfect Pals cat sanctuary.
In what seemed like another case of heart-sinking pet abuse actually turned out to be a plea for help.
The owner of the cats, who was not identified, contacted the producers at Animal Planet which filmed the rescue. The episode will run on its series “Confessions: Animal Hoarding,” according to Purrfect Pals Director Carolyn Goodrich.
Although three agencies interceded, Goodrich emphasized that the rescue was an intervention and not a confiscation mission.
“The woman who had the cats was simply overwhelmed, that’s why she called Animal Planet and then us,” Goodrich said. “Luckily we were all able to help her.”
After what turned out to be a 12-hour project, Purrfect Pals brought home 17 adult cats and 13 kittens. Pasados took 54 cats and kittens, its biggest rescue in the sanctuary’s 19 years. N.O.A.H. took the remaining cats. Nearly every adult cat and kitten Purrfect Pals brought back to its sanctuary were in good health and showed no symptoms of malnutrition.
“They were in fairly good condition,” Goodrich said. “A few had intestinal parasites and respiratory infections but that is typical when cats go outside. But overall they were all fairly healthy and none showed any signs of abuse. The owner had good intentions but she just got overwhelmed to the detriment to her own health. She was caring more for the cats than her own health.”
So why is Animal Planet running a segment on its Hoarder’s show?
“From my understanding of the show, the episodes always involve voluntary participation from people who are desperate,” Goodrich said. “They assist people who are in a tough situation and who are asking for help.”
Once the cats are spayed and neutered, an undetermined number of cats will be returned to the owner. “People were leaving strays on her doorstep because they knew she would take care of them,” Goodrich said. “Some of the cats will be returned so she can have the companionship of the cats she loved.”
Purrfect Pals has been boarding and nursing cats back to good health since 1988. Currently, the sanctuary is near its capacity of 220 cats, most of which will remain there for their lifetime. The non-profit organization does not euthanize cats for space or time as long as the cats have a good quality of life, Goodrich said. Purrfect Pals has 20 offsite locations and has a partnership with Petco and Petsmart. In all, Purrfect Pals, which also has more than 200 volunteers, finds homes for 2,000 cats per year.
“We have an excellent partnership with the two pet stores,” Goodrich said. “They provide us with food and litter. They also provide adoption counselors who facilitate adoptions.”
Purrfect Pals spends nearly $10,000 each year vaccinating, deworming, spaying and neutering cats. It’s currently asking for monetary donations, or unopened cat food and even paper towels. For more information or if you’d like to donate, please visit its website at www.purrfectpals.org, or call them at 360-652-9611.