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DULUTH - Twin Ports animal shelters are facing an emergency after more than 60 cats were found hoarded near a Duluth home.
Animals Allies Humane Society is already at capacity in their Duluth and Superior locations but are now forced to find room for the 63 cats recently found.
"We would like to move the cats up here to where we have better control of their health conditions," John Gustafson from Animal Allies said.
A crew from Animal Allies spent much of the day Tuesday assessing the health of about half the group, which has continued to grow in numbers over the weekend at the Duluth Animal Shelter.
"It's just a hard one," Carrie Lane from the Duluth Animal Control Shelter said. "Certainly this is too many cats for anybody in any house and it's not a good situation for the cats."
Lane said most cats were in good health and that the owner showed strong signs of affection for them.
He has visited the shelter to help staff with the situation.
"Most of the hoarders that we end up dealing with here in Duluth actually are actually well–intention people," Lane said.
Only one of the 63 cats brought from the home was spayed but Animal Allies plans to provide that for the rest of them in order to get them adoptable for the future.
"We have been able to achieve zero euthanasia of all healthy cats and dogs since 2010," Gustafson said.
Wanting to keep that record going and start caring for the new ones, Animal Allies in Duluth and Superior are allowing any adult cat to be adopted free of charge.
They said it is a plan that could make the best of a difficult situation.
"With any hoarding situation it's an unfortunate circumstance," Gustafson said. "Tragic for the animal lover that had the animals, unfortunate for the community to have that many animals out there."
Lane said charges would not be filed in the case because the actions were not a sort of criminal activity. They will work with the owner in the future to make sure he is caring for animals the right way.