The latest update to news of a cat hoarding situation in Bangkal, Makati is probably as good as a tragic situation like this can get.
In her original Facebook post, which has since been made private, the concerned citizen showed grisly photos of cages with decomposed bodies of cats inside, even as live cats were kept in other cages beside. She alleged that the neighbor—who she also said had a mental illness—would roam the streets late at night to take the cats. “Ang problema ay ayan, torture ang inaabot ng mga pusa.” (“The problem is this, the cats end up tortured.”)
A few days after her post went viral, an animal welfare group has posted updates saying that six cats had been rescued from the house. On Thursday, September 9, the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) announced that the group had gone to the address with the Makati City Veterinary Department and accompanied by the woman who had sounded the alarm.
The AKF also released a few findings from the case, following a barangay hearing last Monday, September 6. “The person involved in collecting and hoarding stray cats has a mental health problem. He has attachment to cats and was said to find comfort in having cats around him, hence he picks-up cats from streets (some of these cats are sick),” said the update. “His family tries to provide food for the cats but cannot fund treatment of the sick ones. Sick ones expire eventually, hence the photos of dead cats in cages.”
There is some cold comfort in the fact that “no proof of animal torture was found” during the inspection—and that the remaining cats in the photos did appear reasonably healthy.
The man’s family acknowledged that they were guilty of neglecting the cats, or at least being unable to provide veterinary care for them. They’ve signed an agreement not to keep more than the two cats, and promised to inform the barangay if the man left the house again to pick up more felines.
In the meantime, the family has released all the cats to AKF for adoption and fostering. The city veterinarian will “select two healthy cats that will be retained and cared for by the family,” and will foot the bill for the kitties’ medical care, registration, vaccination, microchipping, and sterilization.