ONA, W.Va. (WOWK) — We first reported the tragic story two weeks ago about the more than 40 cats and kittens who were dumped at a local animal shelter in Ona, West Virginia.
Now, that story has begun to take a hopeful turn.
“As soon as I got the message, it was ‘drop what you’re doing, they need help,’” remembered Natalie Snider, a foster volunteer at Little Victories Animal Rescue.
Little Victories Animal Rescue had just found a crate of more than 40 cats and kittens on their property:
“I took the sheet off and there were so many cats… I was trying to get an initial count but it was impossible because they were just one huge bundle of those cats and kittens,” said Joshua Morrison, the site supervisor at Little Victories Animal Rescue, who found the abandoned crate.
The rescue knew it needed help caring for all of these animals, and the community immediately responded.
“When I was out here that day, we just had people just driving by dropping off supplies,” Snider said.
It was a difficult situation, not only because of the sheer number of animals but because of the various health problems the animals were experiencing.
“75 percent of them were pretty sick,” Morrison said.
Employees at the rescue say about a third came down with panleukopenia, which is extremely contagious and can be deadly.
“It’s case by case, it’s kitten by kitten—their immune system, so we did end up losing eight,” said Morrison.
Despite that loss, employees and volunteers say the situation is finally turning around.
“People from out of the country, in other states even; West coast, east coast, north, I mean everywhere everybody was just really interested in kittens,” Morrison said.
As word spread, the money they needed to help take care of these poor felines’ medical and living expenses came pouring in.
Not only did Little Victories Animal Rescue receive an outpouring of community support, they also received international donations and support.
Now, a few of the cats and kittens are beginning to find their forever homes.
“’Broccoli’ was one of the younger kittens in that litter. We think Broccoli’s about six or seven weeks old and Broccoli is going to his adoptive home today!” said Natalie Snider, who had been fostering Broccoli until his adoption.
“I’d said half the others are basically in the clear now, I mean real healthy. I mean a few of them have already been adopted,” Morrison said.
Against all odds and thanks to the help of the community, many more may survive and have a chance at a happy life.
Employees at Little Victories Animal Rescue say every few days, a few more kittens and cats should be strong enough to go to their foster or forever homes.
They want to stress that situations like these are avoidable if people spay and neuter their pets.
Little Victories Animal Rescue says it is still in need of monetary donations to help with the medical costs for the abandoned cats and kittens.
For more information on how to get involved with the rescue and/or how to donate, visit their website here.