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More than 40 cats seized in Stokes County hoarding case

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Investigators have seized more than 40 cats from a hoarding case in the county.

"They are all in pretty good shape," said veterinarian Deborah Cowan, who examined and vaccinated 31 of the cats Monday. She says the cats are around 2 years of age and healthy despite some minor curable issues.

"They all have ear mites which is pretty common when you have any grouping of cats ... but we are taking care of that," she said. "What is really amazing is they don't have a lot of respiratory problems."

While the investigation is ongoing, the discovery of cats being hoarded inside a home was made after a neighbor found an injured cat.

"When you have more animals than most people can keep up with and take care of it's, basically, they get overwhelmed -- it just sort of sky rockets," said Ben Hooker, head of the Stokes County Animal Control. "With a big undertaking like this, especially for a small county, the more word of mouth we can spread the better."

Hooker says the large number is putting a strain on the small county shelter and staff who are reaching out for help from rescue groups and those looking to adopt. The cats are being kept at an undisclosed location because they don't have room at the county shelter.

"They'll adjust well and make great pets," Cowan said. "I think they deserve a break and I hope people out there are willing to adopt them."

Cowan suggest all cats be tested for leukemia as a precaution. The animal shelter can provide the service for a fee.

Contact the Stokes County Animal Shelter to help or adopt at (336) 994-2788.