January 9, 2016 7:31 am
Updated: January 9, 2016 4:05 pm

SPCA facing ‘huge financial burden’ to treat Nova Scotia man’s 66 cats

WATCH ABOVE: The Nova Scotia SPCA says it's facing a financial burden to treat 66 cats the owner can no longer care for. Steve Silva reports.

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The Nova Scotia SPCA is struggling financially to care for 26 of 66 cats with a variety of health issues rescued from a Yarmouth County man’s home.

“Unfortunately, they’re all infested with lice. So that’s kind of added a different complexity to this situation that we don’t normally have,” said Sandra Flemming, the organization’s provincial director of animal care, at the the provincial animal shelter in Dartmouth on Friday.

The cats most in need of medical attention are being cared for in shelters across the province. Their owner has since gotten enough food to feed the rest cats until the SPCA takes them, a process happening in chunks.

The home of the Yarmouth County man who became overwhelmed with 66 cats.

Nova Scotia SPCA / Supplied

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The man, who is not being identified, isn’t able to afford to care for his clowder of cats. He approached the SPCA in early November, 2015 with his problem.

He won’t face charges.

“They did do the right thing in reaching out for help. We wish that they could have done it a lot sooner. We wouldn’t have had so many, and perhaps the condition of the cats would have been a little bit better,” said Joanne Landsburg, the SPCA’s chief provincial inspector.

Had the organization not stepped in, the 66 could have expanded to over 100 by this summer, she said.

“It’s not something that’s unusual in Nova Scotia,” said Landsburg, adding that the organization could receive multiple calls for similar situations a year. “People think that, you know, brothers and sisters won’t mate – they will.”

She said spaying and neutering pets could prevent similar situations.

Landsburg said that the intake is putting a “huge financial burden on the SPCA.”

The cats have to be shaved and isolated in room to prevent the lice from spreading.

They are also suffering from dental problems. Some are so underweight, they’ll have to gain more weight before they can be fully treated by veterinarians.

Their treatment is costing between $400-600 each, which Flemming estimated could add up to $30,000 in total.

The cost to treat all of the cats could cost up to $30,000, according to a Nova Scotia SPCA spokesperson.

Steve Silva / Global News

“Our adoption fee is only around $160, so we’re not coming anywhere close to recouping the majority of the costs associated with these animals,” she said, also stressing that the organization is not funded by the government.

If people are interested in helping the SPCA, financial donations are of particular need right now, she added.

The cats are being made put up for adoption as they get healthy; five have been adopted as of Friday.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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