The Kewanee Police Department, with assistance from the Kewanee Animal Control and other area agencies, removed 26 animals from a Kewanee residence on Tuesday.
Responding to a welfare check, the KPD went to 810 Burr Street. According to a statement from the KPD, “the complaint stated there was a strong animal odor emanating from the property.”
The statement said that, upon arrival, the officers made contact with the resident and determined the property contained a large number of cats that were urinating and defecating in the property, which was the cause of the neighborhood smell.
At that time, officials removed 24 cats and two dogs from the residence. The cats and dog were removed and taken to the Kewanee Veterinary Clinic to be examined, and are currently being held at the city's animal control facility.
More cats are still on the property and have been able to escape capture. No dead animals were found and most of the animals appeared to be in good health.
Kathy Werderman, manager of the Kewanee Animal Control/Pound, said they are currently holding all 26 cats at the pound. Their work began yesterday afternoon and continued today.
She said quite a number of the cars are feral, but all of them appeared to be well-fed.
“The kittens need medical treatment for a respiratory condition,” Werderman said, but admitted she has seen cats removed from hoarding situations in worse shape.
The pound is putting a call out to farmers for help in placing the feral cats, but none of the cats are spayed or neutered, which could make placement more difficult.
Wederman said she believes an effort is underway to raise money to fix the cats so they can begin to find them homes.
“This could be a major mess,” she said.
The KPD was assisted by Kewanee Animal Control, the Kewanee Fire Department and the Kewanee Community Development Department. The city agencies are working with other social service agencies to determine the next step for the property, the animals and the residents.