There were 400 cats at FLOCK (For the Love of Cats and Kittens), a nonprofit organization located on a two-acre spread in the desert outside Pahrump, Nevada. This organization is supposed to provide a cat sanctuary for all of these animals.
When Nye County Animal Control took over the organization last week, it looked like a compound for these neglected cats instead. Animal control officers asked Best Friends Animal Society to help with the drastic situation.
75% of the cats were found to be sick. They were suffering from eye and respiratory infection to starvation. Best Friends volunteers even questioned if the cats were fed every day. Cats were starving, dehydrated, and had to be force fed.
The owners of the organization have signed over the possession of the animals. Animal Control is investigating and says the owners could face charges of animal neglect. Volunteers believe the cats were actually caught in Clark County and brought over to Pahrump.
From Las Vegas Now:
“We had no idea, no idea that it was as bad as it was,” said Maggie Ward, current FLOCK president.
Heart-breaking. It’s the only word Maggie Ward used to describe what she saw at what was supposed to be a feral cat sanctuary in south Pahrump. The FLOCK president says sick cats fighting eye infections and starvation wasn’t part of the plan.
“I was stunned for one thing — in shock and we just left in tears,” she said. Ward was named FLOCK president close to seven weeks ago, immediately after finding close to 400 cats in horrendous living conditions in their sanctuary. Ward and other members place the blame on former FLOCK president Sheri Allen.
“She isolated everyone. She changed the locks every two weeks. She just kept everything secret… hidden,” said Ward. But a former volunteer, who wishes to remain anonymous, says though intentions were good, planning was bad.
“When they were first making the sanctuary in Pahrump, even when they were making plans for it, they couldn’t seem to make up their mind what they wanted to do — how they wanted to do it,” said the former volunteer. “They didn’t have any clue as to who was going to go out there and take care of the cats.”
Best Friends has agreed to assess all the cats, provide them with food and medical care, and find homes for them. The process could take three months and cost $500,000.
After the care from Best Friends and adequate food, water, and medical attention, these previously neglected cats are feeling better and their personalities are coming out. The volunteers are naming each of the cats and falling in love with these felines that desperately need attention and a home. Best Friends celebrated their second adoption of these 400 cats on Saturday night.