Hopeful cat owners turned out over the weekend to adopt 258 of the felines that were seized in June from Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary near High Springs.
Held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the adoption event was considered a success by officials with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
“For a cat-only adoption, finding this many homes is unprecedented,” said Jordan Crump, Public Information Officer with HSUS. “We’re excited about the way the Gainesville area community came together to help with these cats.”
The event was held at the Alachua County Humane Society which otherwise has no connection with HSUS. Adoptions were just $5 per cat.
Crump said some 70 additional cats were placed with partner shelters and rescues. Volunteers caring for the felines adopted an estimated 30 cats. About 220 cats remain up for adoption, Crump confirmed. In all, 330 cats were placed in homes or other shelters and rescues, she said.
Of the 697 cats seized from Haven Acres, about 70 either died or were euthanized after veterinary staff determined they were beyond care and recovery.
Approximately 50 of the cats will not be immediately adopted out, Crump said. They will remain in the care of the HSUS and are reportedly being kept as evidence in a criminal trial that may ensue against Pennie and Steve Lefkowitz, who are now facing dozens of animal cruelty charges.
Crump estimates the HSUS will have spent several hundred thousand dollars on the seizure, care and adoption of the cats.
“We’ve been flying staff and volunteers down to Gainesville for three months now,” said Crump.
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