SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Animal rescuers returned again on Wednesday to continue pulling cats out of a filthy Sunrise apartment where dozens of felines — both dead and alive — were found in deplorable conditions in a horrific case of animal hoarding.
About 50 cats have been rescued so far, and rescuers believe more felines, who had been left to starve and suffer, are hiding in the apartment’s walls.
“This one breaks my heart. You can feel all of his bones,” Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation spokesperson Gina Vlasek said about the first cat that was rescued. “Our volunteers are amazing. The community is coming together. Everyone is offering a lot of support.”
The rescue mission began on Saturday when Saving Sage and another rescue group became concerned about the behavior of a volunteer. That led them to her last known address in Sunrise at 3989 NW 94th Ave.
Cats were left abandoned with no food or water, and several did not survive.
“I’ll never be able to make sense of that,” Vlasek said. “Somebody that I knew to be so loving and caring with animals could leave even just one cat in such suffering.”
Saving Sage has spent days trapping cats, but some felines are still hiding in the walls.
The cats had likely been neglected for months, and according to a property manager, a complaint had been filed with the City of Sunrise providing pictures showing cats in the windows.
A reply from the city included, “I gave the resident 72 hours to fix the odor,” and a warning was placed on the door. That was at the end of March.
Two months later, 10 cats were found dead inside, and at least 50 others were found in desperate need of food, water and medical attention. Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation has been working around the clock since Saturday.
“I haven’t slept since Saturday, and I would really like to just lay in my bed and cry, but I can’t,” Vlasek said. “These cats, they need me right now. They need us all to be strong, to pull together and to help them.”
Traps have been set up inside of the apartment because animal rescuers believe there may be two or three more cats in the apartment.
If you would like to support Saving Sage’s rescue efforts, click here to be redirected to their website.