An animal shelter in Woodstock is rehabilitating dozens of cats after officials said there was a hoarding situation last week.
According to Waterford East-Lyme Animal Control, 46 cats were found at the house. The family surrendered the cats.
The cats were rescued after one of the cats was found stuck in a tree earlier in the month.
Angela Testa, who lives in Waterford, said that her dog chased the cat up the tree. She posted a picture of the cat on Facebook, looking for the owner. Commenters said they thought they knew where the cat lived and added that there might be a problem at the home.
"True to their word, they did have a whole lot of cats there. It was an elderly couple and they were just way over their heads with the amount of cats they had,” said Officer Robert Yuchniuk, animal control officer.
Yuchniuk said that no charges will be placed.
He needed to find a place for the cats and started reaching out to rescue organizations. That is when Paws Cat Shelter stepped in.
The Paws Cat Shelter said it has taken in 36 cats so far with four more to get and all are estimated to be between 4 and 10 years old.
According to the shelter, three of the cats have moderate or severe Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which is a neurological condition, and many have eye and ear issues, some of which will require surgery.
At this point, the shelter said ten or more of the cats need dental care and over two dozen of the cats need to be neutered or spayed.
Officials at the shelter describe the cats as very social and sweet and said volunteers are doting on all of them.
"We know that these cats were loved very much by their owners and we are not passing judgment as this was very hard for them," the shelter said in a post on Facebook.
The shelter said its goal is to ensure the cats get the care they need before they can go to their forever homes.
The cats are currently not up for adoption, but the shelter said once they are, it will be shared on Facebook.
Now that the cats are in a good place, being cared for at Paws Cat Shelter, the town is focusing their attention on helping the couple as well.
"I am going to get the Town of Waterford to put a dumpster on the family’s property and we are going to get a group of volunteers who can go there and help them clean up the exterior of the house and make their property a little nicer,” said Yuchniuk.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Waterford Animal Control and has not heard back.