BOISE — A sad case of animal cruelty landed more than 70 cats and kittens at the Idaho Humane Society.
The influx in mid-July is taxing the shelter and its resources. The Idaho Humane Society says the Boise City Prosecutor is handling the case, and they hope they'll be awarded the cats.
After a few weeks of taking care of the rescued animals, the humane society hopes to know whether a judge will grant them custody this week. At that point, they can start the adoption process for the 73 cats.
UPDATE 8/8/18: The Idaho Humane Society says they won't know whether they have custody of the cats and can't disclose more details about the case until the trial.
NOTE: The furry guys in this video story are NOT the ones we are talking about. We were not allowed to shoot them because they're evidence in the case.
A call in July sent animal care and control out to a place in Boise where they came across 59 hoarded cats. Fifty nine quickly grew to 73, with kittens born at the shelter.
“It is taxing our shelter a bit because we do require new shelters for the animals, we are having to clean their kennels and we are actually going through a ton of cat and kitten food right now,” Idaho Humane Society Communications & PR Manager Kristine Schellhaas said.
Some of the babies require bottles every two to three hours.
“That’s just a lot of manpower a lot of time,” Schellhaas added.
She says it's already a peak time for cats coming into the shelter, and they didn't have enough space in their normal facility for all the rescues.
“So we've had to bring in portable units and we're putting them wherever we can find space. They're hanging out in our education room right now,” Schellhaas said.
We don't have a lot of information on where and how the cats were found, but we're told it's being handled as a misdemeanor animal cruelty case.
“When they're saying no, they're not surrendering animals to us so now, the legal system is intervening and we are trying to figure out... if they'll get their cats back - which is highly unlikely - or if we will actually be responsible for taking care and adopting them out,” Schellhaas told KTVB.
Because the kitties are evidence, the Idaho Humane Society is tasked with housing the evidence.
“And technically the individual is responsible for reimbursing the cost of evidence to us but historically that has never happened so we are going to have to foot the bill for any of the animal care and expenses associated with that,” Schellhaas said.
So the organization is asking for your help: Cat and kitten food and monetary donations are needed.
“We've completely run out of our cat food. We did receive a donation from Zamzows. But we're still trying to replenish our stock,” Schellhaas added.
In Idaho, animal cruelty is generally a misdemeanor, unless a certain number of offenses in a certain time frame are committed. Different forms of mistreatment, abuse and neglect fall under it. The first violation carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
KTVB will continue to follow this story and bring you any updates.
(Correction: We initially were told the Ada County Prosecutor's Office was handling this case. We are now told it is the Boise City Prosecutor.)