— By BRIAN SMITH
A 50-cat seizure has Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter officials offering a special deal on felines through Saturday.
Director of Animal Services Dustin Deel said animal control obtained a search warrant Nov. 27 and found 50 cats living in a single-family residence inside the city.
Animal control was alerted to the potential issue when the utility department called and reported they had shut off electricity and water to the home but could see cats in the house from the road.
Animal control needed about eight hours to properly contain and transport the cats, many of which were domesticated felines, Deel said. When cats are confined in small spaces like the one bedroom house the cats were found in, high ammonia levels like that present in hoarding situations can cause the health of animals and people living in the house to deteriorate, according to Deel.
Eleven of the cats were seized with various health issues, including upper respiratory infections, but all have since received proper medical care. To accommodate the cats, additional kennels were brought in and have brought the room specifically for holding cats to its highest occupancy, Deel said.
Some of the cats are feral, however, and are expected to be rescued by the Panther City Feral Cats Coalition, a nonprofit operating out of the DFW area.
Under the terms of the agreement that animal control and the homeowner worked out, the homeowner was allowed to keep five cats, the legal limit within the city.
Since she surrendered the cats, no fines or citations were issued, Deel said.
With the influx of cats, an adoption fee of $20 will be offered through Saturday. The fee includes spay or neutering, a microchip, all required vaccinations and the chance to purchase discounted pet insurance.
The shelter, located at 403 Hickory Lane in Weatherford, is open Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.