Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Hoarder Nearby

 200 Rabbits and Guinea Pigs were removed from a filthy trashed out house and garage yesterday and today by local police.  The woman has been charged with neglect.  She was left her three dogs and three cats.  I'd gotten cats fixed at that house.  Why did the police leave the cats there, when one is obviously in very very bad shape?

Three weeks ago, I stopped by that house, when with a friend, a house I knew, to ask why their cat was so skinny.  She's a gray who looks like death warmed over.  I'd see her occasionally when I'd drive down Marian street to town.

I got cats fixed at that house a couple years back and again some time before that.   It was no fun.  They had said they'd donate and didn't.  I took them clear to Coos Bay, to the S/nipped clinic, which is a terribly difficult day for me.  When I brought the cats back, that night, exhausted beyond exhausted, I expected them to be happy and help me get them from my car.  I'd told them how far I'd had to go, to get them fixed.  I also expected the promised donation.

I get neither a donation nor help getting them from the car.  The woman, about my age, and her daughter, were at the table, in a junk jammed kitchen playing cards and refused to even acknowledge I was there, outside of an angry grunt my way.

I hated them, seethed in exhaustion and outrage, that night.  But I also worried for the cats, knowing how they were.  They also wanted me to take cats to the vet for an ex husband living somewhere, was never told where, in a trailer.  They said the cats there were sick and probably would die.  I said I couldn't pay to take their cats to a vet, that it was his responsibility to treat his cats with kindness and left.

The last cats I got fixed there were Boots, Heathcliff and Brady.  It was in December of 2012.  I have photos of Boots and Heathcliff, one a long hair orange tux and the other a short hair orange tabby tux.  But not of Brady, whom I describe as medium hair gray.  I wonder if that is Brady I see, the skinny one, and not a female.  I see the long hair orange tux boy, in bad shape too, but not as skinny as the gray.

Ever since, I've felt a deep unease when I pass that house, going to town.

The older woman showed no emotion when I'd asked about her skinny cat three weeks ago, said, as she waddled to her car, "I'll take her to a vet."  I knew she wouldn't.  My friend said she'd go back and try to get the cat from them.  I found out later that she never did.

Then yesterday, I saw police cars at the house on my way to the grocery store.  On the way back, I saw a big police van with the back doors open and lots of cages inside, with animals.  I hit the brakes, but then changed my mind and went around the block and turned up the street right beside the police van.  There was a man inside the van.

I thought it was a police officer or maybe someone from Safehaven.  But when he came out, he said he'd lived at the house.  I asked what happened, after I found out they were rabbits in those cages.  he said someone turned them in.  I said where are the cats.  "Oh," he said, "It's you.  You got them fixed for us.  I have two of them, the blue boy and one of the orange boys and they're fat and healthy."  I said, "What about the little gray one, what's wrong with her, she's so skinny."

I could see her, laying in the dirt against the house, as police officers carrying cages passed by her.  She was over grooming and looked fertive, like she was pretending to herself nothing bad was happening, that everything would be ok.  I could not take it and began to cry.

I drove off slowly.  But that night, I could barely function.  I e-mailed the paper, the news stations, trying to find out what was going on.  There's been too much lately, around here, too much animal abandonment and craziness.  I can barely handle living here.

Finally I resorted to Nyquilizing myself to sleep.  I don't know why it affected me so strongly, the plight of that one skinny kitty, wandering in a daze. One thing affecting me is that Galihad and another cat were abandoned not even a block from that house.  The house where they were left has a backyard not more than 150 feet from the back of that hoarder house.   I suppose that was one factor in why I was affected like I was.

 I woke late this morning.  KEZI news wanted me to call them, to describe what I'd seen.  They'd been one I e-mailed the night before, trying to see if anyone knew what was going on there.  They were now going to cover the story.

I called the reporter who e-mailed and described what I'd seen.  She asked if I'd describe the scene on camera and I felt obligated, since I'd told them about the story and asked them to find out what was going on.  I hate being on camera, just hate it.  I was also dead brained and dull, from the Nyquil and stress of late.

But I went, with my fangs bared for that poor cat.  I saw her there in the yard, with the police there again, hauling out even more rabbits and Gunea Pigs.  Turned out there were 200 hauled out of that garage.   I asked the community service officer about the cats, pointed out the skinny kitty.   She didn't know what would become of them.

I had a brief interview with the reporter who asked me to describe what I saw.  I also asked her to ask Safehaven, who took them all in, if they would be getting them fixed prior to adoption.  I don't think they are.  I think they're already adopting them out.  Taken in yesterday, already up for adoption.  Without being fixed.   This makes me crazy.

I suppose its easy to criticize when I'm not the one caring for all those rabbits.  Rabbits are difficult and expensive to fix.  Safehaven, although they just moved into a huge new location that's a lot of animals to take in suddenly and care for.  I hope they can get help from other shelters.  People's interest (and volunteer help) often fades quickly, after such an incident.

If you can help financially or want to adopt a rabbit in need,
here is a link to Safehaven, the shelter where the rabbits are currently being housed.

In the second segment of the news, they show a brief clip of me.  It's been edited for their purposes.  They said neighbors didn't know what was going on, then showed me saying "I had no idea what was in that garage."

I'm not a neighbor.  I had told the reporter I got the cats fixed for those people and when I did, I had no idea the garage was full of rabbits.  Oh well.  I guess the news people have to use what they get how they want.   I looked bloated and fat and dull.  Because I am.

Actual neighbors should have been able to clearly see what was going on.  They did nothing.  The house was often full of people too, losers all apparently, who did not intercede for the animals, or even for children in the house, because they were discovered when child services was called to check on a child's welfare there.

When I saw the news tonight, in the second segment they showed a video clip of that poor cat, showing how skinny she is, so at least there's a video record of her suffering.

 Because the paper article on it says while she is being charged with neglect, her three dogs and three cats will be left there with her.  It also said the dogs health will be monitored.  The cats?  They're on their own.  When I saw that, I started to sob again.

At least the rabbits got help.  At least the dogs health will be monitored.  But the cats?   For them, there's nothing.  Nobody gives a shit about cats around here.

We've already had another train suicide here this week, and an apartment fire that killed a very nice man.  When I saw the photo of the burned out apartment, I remembered when I set a trap, for a stray kitty, right outside that same apartment a couple three years back.   I remember how bad the ants were that year, how they swarmed the bait on the trap outside the second floor apartment, how the man mentioned it.  He's died in that fire, also last week.  Maybe there's just been too much bad news this week.

The paper article had vanished briefly on the website, or perhaps, on my computer's view of it, but it's back now.  See below.
Local paper article on the hoarder.
Here's the Eugene TV stations story on it. The skinny kitty can be seen at 1:00 minutes in.

 The news link story above might not work too long either.

It's up to me to help them.  I'll have to ask those people, who did that to so many animals, for permission, too.  What kind of world is this?

I need to get out of town, out in nature, reboot.   


  1. Uggh Strayer- what a heart break! My landlady is a hoarder, too. Her animals are in bad shape, her yard is full of trash, there were dead cats,around her stank bad.
    My neighbor wanted me to walk with her to go berry picking down the driveway toward the landlady's house. I've lived here for a year and a half and had never seen her house. My neighbor was afraid of the dogs, so I went with her. Yes it 's heartbreaking to see the neglected cats. I hate it. I've been in a funk all afternoon. The landlady's dogs killed the cats, and the carcasses are just left there. I have no respect for my landlady, I want badly to move but can't afford to. Stuck in my poverty.
    Oh, and Dr. Peavy is moving back to Hawaii. She had fixed 15 or so cats several months ago on my
    landlady's property, but there were no cats that I saw on my landlady's side of the property. I' m so upset, too by your situation, I'm tempted to offer fostering at my home if you can get the skinny tortie you were concerned about. I'm only 6 ish hours away. I'm in Eureka, near the 101. I would drive up there to get her if you needed me to. Why can't people do right by their pets or just not have any? WTF is wrong with people?
    You don't need to publish this comment if you don't want to. Let me know what you decide to do, if you're gonna try to get the tortie. I hate feeling helpless, I want to help if I can.
    My neighbors Janine& Travis saw a little dog getting abused , kicked & hit over in old town part of Eureka, they offered $30 for the dog. The guy handed her over,just like that. They named her CC. They (Janine&Travis) also rescued one of the landlady's kittens that escaped the hell over on the other side of this property.the kitten had gotten stuck or pinned in between some fencing. The kitten & the little dog are both doing well.

  2. I am so sorry. Hurting for you and the cats, hurting with you.

  3. Offer that lady some $ for her cat. I saw the KEZI news video. You looked fine, the cat looked like she needs getting away from her current owners. Let me know if I can help in some way , if you decide to catch her, the tortie.

  4. NS vet moving, eh? She never responds to me. She sometimes would say she would stop by, on her way back from somewhere, then wouldn't after I would wait for her all day.

    Your landlady sounds like a nightmare, Autumn!

  5. Yeah, makes me wonder what happened to the cats at the landlady's place besides the dogs. She once threatened to shoot them if there got to be too many. Makes me sad.
    One of my ferals that was here when I moved into this rental last year now lets me handle, brush and pick him up. If/when I move I will definitely take him with me. The landlady/slumlord is 86 years old. None of renters know what we'll do when she passes. I still have my housekeeping & caregiving work and putting money into savings, slowly. I keep hoping I may be able to get a USDA home buyers loan and get a cheap house in the desert,east of here. I'm slowly getting out of debt and I have an excellent credit rating. The more I get out of debt, the more I can put down for the down payment part. I have a goal at least to get out of this situation, but for now it is what it is.
    One of the local veterinarians (Dr. Humble) at the Cutten Animal Clinic recently got charged with fraud and neglect. Read the Lost Coast Outpost online to look at the article. Many of the cats I spayed/neutered were through them cause they take the low income vouchers. It's sad and frustrating.