Kitty â??raid' shows alternatives to gas chamber possible

Greg Harman

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Two years ago, our cat lady got shafted, her 50 kitties got gassed, and no one is happy about it (except, maybe, D'Anne Trethan's feline-hatin' neighbors). Guess she was raided by the wrong outfit.

Last week, a wildlife rescue volunteer stumbled onto a hoarding situation in San Antonio involving an estimated 27 cats. Call what's happened since an exploration of alternatives.

In this case, the homeowner called Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation for assistance with problem squirrels. The volunteer, Jim Graham, noticed the home was filled with dozens of sweet kitties and all their productive sweet kitty filth.

From the moment the long-time volunteer walked into the house, “He realized there's a whole lot more going on than squirrels in her attic,” said WRR founder Lynn Cuny. “He let me know about it â?¦ and said, â??Please, can we do something?'”

As KENS5 reported last week, animal “hoarders” typically “only get help after a search warrant allows animal care workers inside the home to seize the animals.” This time, with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation at the fore, San Antonio's Animal Care Services (and their likely lethal solution) has been kept at bay. Instead, WRR volunteers and staff have examined and treated the cats, cleaned the woman's house, and gotten her into therapy, said Cuny.

“We can't always step in when we find these situations or hear about them, but we like to lend a hand to some degree,” she added. (Subtext for all you slovenly pet lovers: â??We're not running a maid service here, people.')

The Kendalia County-based WRR opened an office in San Antonio earlier this year and hopes â?? by working at the grassroots, community level â?? to assist the city achieve its commitment to achieving "no-kill" status by 2012.

Working with several rescue groups, WRR and the homeowner now face the daunting task of adopting out most of those cats. Until things that happens, the operation can't be considered an outright success story. But as Cuny sees it: “the woman has kind of a lifeline to some help now, as do the cats”

Those with a kitty-shaped hole in their bleeding hearts (and the means to provide,) contact WRR at (830) 336-2725.

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