Neighbors offer help after southern Maine shelter receives 38 cats seized from home

Posted Sept. 04, 2013, at 1:19 p.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Help has come to Red Barn owner Peg Wheeler to care for 38 cats and kittens that were brought to the shelter after a police seizure on Saturday morning.

“Help came, from everywhere!” said Wheeler.

Animal control officer Bill Kelloway received a call from a concerned citizen on Saturday morning. According to Kelloway, the person reported seeing a large number of cats coming and going from a home on River Street.

Susan Parker, 45, was found to have an outstanding warrant and was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a Schedule W drug and failure to provide necessary food for the cats. She has a court date scheduled Nov. 12 in Springvale for the cat-related charge.

Parker’s cats then were seized and brought to Wheeler, who has been taking in Berwick’s stray cats since 2003. Wheeler does not have a contract with the town to do this, so she pays for the associated costs herself. She said this seizure was too much for her to handle alone, so she asked the public for help.

By the end of Sunday, more than 400 pounds of cat litter, 200 pounds of dry cat food, and more than $1,000 in contributions came to the aid of Red Barn and the seized cats.

“We literally had people parked down the sides of the road,” said Wheeler. Help came from across New Hampshire and southern Maine.

As of Monday night, all but 13 cats have a foster home waiting for them. Many of those are mother cats with kittens that are too young, less than a week to four weeks, to be considered for adoption.

According to Wheeler, all of the cats are relatively healthy.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

 

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