Two months ago, an investigation by the NJ State SPCA revealed 200 dead cats rotting in garbage bags in the backyard of a home in East Orange, NJ. The home was found to belong to the executive director of NYC cat rescue Kitty Kind, Marlene Hess. An additional 48 cats were found inside, 38 in one room. In court, the judge ordered that the sick and healthy cats be separated.
The follow-up investigation now found 95 cats ... sick and healthy still mixed together. The Society has taken them all in as a result of Judge Karimu Hill-Harvey ordering them confiscated in Hess' trial on August 23rd. The SPCA had issued 38 counts of animal cruelty, and Marlene Hess was found guilty, sentenced to 21 days in jail, fined over $14,000, ordered to serve 1,140 days of community service, banned Hess from owning any animals for three years and to relinquish the 95 cats to the Society.
With this established, Society staffers went to the scene with carriers and loaded up the cats. Room was made to accommodate the newcomers, and each one received a thorough medical exam. Twenty of the cats were so diseased they had to be euthanized immediately, including one with maggots having infested its hindquarters. While seemingly healthy cats were finally separated from sick cats, and treatment begun for those who needed it, it became clear that infection had spread, and soon every cat was sick. The Society proceeded to treat all cats twice a day.
While the cats were recovering, word was sent out requesting any owners or other rescues who had given cats to Hess an opportunity to reclaim them. Thankfully, several rescues have stepped forward and taken back a number of them, but the number of cats continues to stress Society resources as we care for them as well as our existing cat population. Your support at this time would be greatly appreciated in defraying the phenomenal cost of feeding and providing medical care for 75 sick animals. Please make a donation today to help our rescue of Kitty Kind's sick and neglected animals.
Pictured here are just a few of the cats and kittens confiscated from Kitty Kind; either at Hess' East Orange home or shortly after at the Society. These lovely cats need a real chance to find a loving home and are now available for adoption. Contact us if you are interested in adoption.