Editorial Note: Global News originally reported information provided by AARCS that the cats had been found abandoned next to railroad tracks between Stettler and Erskine. This story has been updated to reflect new information about the case released by AARCS.
UPDATE: Alberta Animal Rescue Society says man who ‘found’ 15 cats misled them
A Calgary animal shelter says a man who originally reported finding dozens of cats inside two Rubbermaid containers now claims the cats belonged to a family member who couldn’t care for them.
AARCS also said it was conducting an investigation into the matter and called the incident “a symptom of the desperate state of cats in our province and the huge number of unwanted kittens born each and every day.”
On Thursday, the Saving Grace Animal Society based in Alix, Alta. reported the discovery of more than a dozen cats found inside two Rubbermaid containers that were duct taped shut with air holes drilled into the lids.
They were reportedly found next to the railroad tracks between Stettler and Erskine, just northeast of Red Deer. But that claim was later revealed to have been made up by the man who turned the animals in.
The group posted images of the bins and animals to their Facebook page, saying “we have them safe and warm now.”
Deanna Thompson with the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) said they were contacted and have stepped in to take over the care and eventual placement of the animals.
READ MORE: Puppies rescued from abandoned car brought to Calgary animal group
View photos of the cats below:
The discovery was also reported to the Alberta SPCA who will be responsible for any investigations or charges that may come out of the situation.
The cats were expected to arrive in Calgary on Thursday evening. Thompson says they were found covered in urine and feces. She expects they will be under medical care for a while based on what she saw in the photos online.
“It looks like there’s some hair loss,” she said. “We may be dealing with some viruses or illnesses, potentially ringworm. So they’re going to go into quarantine and of course they’ll be examined by our vets and treated.”
Thompson said she is happy to see people are paying attention because they can’t care for all the stray cats around Alberta.
“We’ve been struggling with it for years and years,” she said. “For some unknown reason, cats don’t hold the same value as dogs, which is really unfortunate.
“They’re living beings that feel pain and suffering and it’s atrocious that someone thinks they can thrown them in the ditch.”
READ MORE: Calgary animal shelter issues plea as it hits capacity with stray cats and dogs
Watch below: (From October 2018) The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is at capacity and needs help.
Thompson said there is a lack of access to spaying and neutering in Alberta.
Thompson said the story was already gaining traction online. Within four hours, the original post had been shared more than 1,500 times.
- Bank of Canada’s rate decision looms. Will the hot economy push it to hike?
- Tenants opposed to above-guidance rent increase go on rent strike, withhold payments
- New mortgage originations in Canada dipped in first quarter: report
- As Canadian, allied ships sail to new missions, tensions over Taiwan remain