HSSM in search of homes for 121 cats

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Humane Society of South Mississippi is asking for the community's help. Wednesday morning they received more than 120 cats, all rescued from the same home.

"I look at these beautiful, social, friendly, loving cats and I'm worried," said HSSM Executive Director Tara High.

The pack arrived from Long Beach in two vanloads. Long Beach Police discovered the cats after a complaint from a neighbor led them to interview the original owners.  Police said the owners were also given a citation for having too many animals.

According to police, it seemed to be an animal-hoarding situation.  While the cats seemed to be well taken care of, the owners willingly handed them over to the HSSM.

"They were living more for the cats. The home itself was not conducive for the folks to live a normal life inside their home," said High, who saw the home.

"It's obvious that these people loved their animals very much.  It's unfortunate that you can love your animals as much as you possibly can, but it doesn't mean that it's the best environment for them," said HSSM Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jenny Morris.

Even though the cats are in pretty good condition, the move from the house to the humane society where they are being held in kennels, caused a lot of stress.  Volunteers are working very hard to create a calm environment so the cats can adjust to the abrupt change.

"Unfortunately, where the kitties come from, they are all kept together so if one of them has an illness it's very possible that others could have the same illness," said Morris.

A vet will examine each cat to make sure they are healthy and ready to be adopted.  While that process will be pretty easy, getting the cats to a new home could be much harder.

"We don't have outlets in other parts of the country. There is nowhere for us to move these cats outside our community to get them adopted. So, this is a situation where more than ever we are going to be looking to our community to help us," said High.

According to the Humane Society the cats should be ready to adopt in a few days. Because of the situation, HSSM will be accepting any donation from an adopter in lieu of the usual adoption fee.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.