Dozens of cats removed from Secaucus home — looking for adoption

SECAUCUS AND BEYOND — Last week Secaucus town officials removed 37 malnourished and dehydrated cats from a Secaucus house near Center Avenue and First Street, officials said.
“This type of conduct will not be tolerated. We pride ourselves on being a pet friendly town, but no matter where you live, the situation we discovered was atrocious. We will be seeking the maximum penalties for this offense, which will include criminal prosecution,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli.
The town euthanized 18 of the 37 cats, which officials said could not be humanley saved.
“Some of them had open sores, tumors, [and were] emaciated,” said Dr. John Hatch, veterinarian at the Secaucus Animal Hospital. “[The cats] were just not in good shape. It was sad to [euthanize them] but we felt we had no option but to do that.”
“This goes against everything we believe in, but they were in such bad shape that there was nothing else that could be done,” said Gonnelli.
Gonnelli said the town will seek criminal charges against the person who took care of the cats, describing her as a “hoarder.”
The surviving animals are being cared for at the Secaucus Animal Shelter, and the administration is seeking assistance from any individuals who might be willing to lend a hand. One resident has donated toward the cost of pet care and others are reaching out to individuals who might be willing to adopt, foster, or offer similar monetary assistance. Town officials pointed out that the cats are extremely friendly, despite the abuse they underwent, and any adopted animals will be spayed/neutered, disease free, and current with all their shots.
Dr. Hatch said he may take one of the remaining cats on as his own. He already has nine cats and three dogs.
“The [cats] are underfed, but that is easily reversible. They were covered with fleas. Most of them have no teeth, probably just from poor nutrition and infections,” said Dr. Hatch. “They are all leukemia/aids negative which is a big plus. We tested them all. That we can tell none of them appear to be spayed/neutered. We will take care of all that as well. They are very adoptable.”
Anyone interested in helping out should contact Town Hall directly at 201-330-2000. For updates, read the coming weekend’s Secaucus Reporter.

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