About 15 minutes before they closed for the day (June 22, 2023), the Washington Parish Animal Shelter received a call from a very upset Bogalusa resident about a household of 6 felines that had been for over a month without an owner’s care. Now, the WPAS is not animal control and is not able to take on the parish in that role, but with help from a volunteer task force and good Samaritans they do their best. Hearing about this situation, Kelsey Knight and the WPAS employees jumped up and started preparing for the worst possible case. Sadly, this was what they found.
A Veteran, who had taken up the care of his previously passed mothers’ cats and over-loved them, had been hospitalized for over a month before WPAS was made aware of the situation. A friend/caretaker had been going to the residence as often as she could to care for them and had not realized the decline of the cats since they were so overweight to begin with.
Then during this already hard time, the apartment itself was broken into. While luckily none of the cats ran away during the time when the door was left open, it caused the cats to decline even further in health.
After getting to the apartment and exiting the vehicle, WPAS employees could smell the decay. The floor had become oily with urine and feces. Precautions were taken by wearing Tyvek suits, masks, and gloves.
While the smell itself was overwhelming, it was the state of the home that was even more so. Trash was thrown around and furniture moved obviously by the robber(s) who was looking for whatever items they could find. Then right by the threshold was a small gray emaciated cat meowing for help. WPAS was not aware at the time that this was a 20+ year old male cat that WPAS named Arrow. The other felines were swiftly found and placed in temp taxis to be transported back to WPAS. WPAS also took the deceased feline to properly dispose of her.
The cats rescued range from the youngest at 10 years old to the oldest at 20 years old. For a short time, the felines are being housed until medical can be provided at the WPAS shelter, which is not at this time set up for felines. Rescues are being contacted. One of the felines, a large Maine Coon, has already been adopted and has been placed in an exceptional home.
Kelsey Knight and all the folks at the WPAS work every day taking care of and finding homes for the unfortunate furry residents of our Parish. But there are times, such as this, that they go every further - “above and beyond the call of duty”.
Take a moment and send them a word of thanks for all that they do. Their email is Washingtonparishanimalshelter@gmail.com and their FB page is https://www.facebook.com/Washingtonparishanimalshelter/