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Dozens of Animals Seized from Smithsburg Home

The real issue is the residents were unable to care for the animals, and even required a caretaker to check in on them because of health issues.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - An unusual and very sad case of animal hoarding out of Smithsburg, where the Humane Society of Washington County responded on Monday to a home with dozens of sick cats, and other animals.

Thirty-nine and counting.

That's the number of cats Andy Smith, Field Service Supervisor for the Humane Society of Washington County, said have been removed from a home on North Main Street in Smithsburg.

Most of the cats are sick, and there are around 20 of them now in the Humane Society's care.

"The cats were found to be underweight, upper respiratory infections, eye infections and several of them tested positive for feline leukemia," said Smith.

The real issue is the residents were unable to care for the animals, and even required a caretaker to check in on them because of health issues. Field Service Officers said people were aware this residence was an issue for years, but no one reported it to them until this week.

"We forwarded the information on to some other agencies in the area to provide assistance to the residents to the house. They're in need of assistance with cleaning, some health issues, and just overall just someone to watch out for their best interest," Smith said.

Even though this specific case is not common, the field service officers said they see overpopulation and animal hoarding more frequently in this area.

"It's our second case in two months that we're aware of. I believe there are probably more out there that we're not aware of."

The previous case, Smith said they seized over 20 dogs from a residence after filing a warrant through the court because the owner wouldn’t freely give the animals up.

Officials with the Humane Society said that early spring months are also a very busy time for them. They said on average they pick up 40 cats a day, in addition to what they bring in from customers.

They said spaying and neutering will play an important role in controlling the animal population in this area.

He said, they're just trying to help the people and the animals alike.

And officials with the Field Service Department are asking law enforcement agencies, and really, everyone, to report any possible cases of animal hoarding or neglect immediately.
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