78 Sick, Neglected Cats, Dead Kittens Found Inside Home–Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty

September 2, 2020 Updated: September 2, 2020

A huge number of sick, neglected cats need adoptive homes after being rescued from a cruel situation in Sedalia, Missouri.

Police arrived at a small home on Aug. 26 after an anonymous caller tipped them off, speculating that the residents were keeping too many animals, reports KOLR. Officers arrested a man and a woman on charges of animal cruelty and lifted a total of 78 cats, many of whom were suffering from respiratory illnesses, from the 941-square-foot abode.

In addition, a number of deceased kittens were found inside bags on the property.

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The rescue was overseen by the Sedalia Police Department with help from the Sedalia Animal Shelter, the local fire department, and a number of Missouri-based animal care and veterinary organizations, reports KCTV-5.

“At the end of the day, people were taken to jail and all that, but we’re more worried about the animals that were living there,” Detective Davis Mittlehauser reflected. Making sure that the cats all experience a “good outcome” by finding safe, loving adoptive homes is “really what all this was about,” he added.

Many of the cats, as detailed in the police report, were in dire need of immediate medical care. Some, despite receiving treatment from a diligent team of shelter veterinarians, died as a result of their illnesses. “[A] search of the exterior of the residence,” the report continued, “found that approximately 27 deceased cats were buried in the back yard in several locations.”

Around 20 of the buried cats were identified as kittens.

The two people arrested were later identified as Ferdinand M. Bucayan, 37, and Teodora Dalumpines, 57. Both suspects were detained at the Pettis County Jail and are facing multiple charges of animal abuse and neglect.

All 78 rescued felines, including kittens and adults, were taken in by the Sedalia Animal Shelter for assessment, medicine, food and water, and much-needed care. The cats will be transferred to a number of shelter sites to be put up for adoption after recovering from the ordeal.

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(Illustration – vnlit/Shutterstock)

The Sedalia Animal Shelter shared photos of two of the rescued animals on Facebook, a long-haired ginger tom and a calico kitten, two days after they were lifted from the home. “Previously known as 041 and 023, they have been named Merlot and Sonando,” staffers shared.

“We’ve had many phone calls about adopting cats from this particular situation,” they added. “These kitties will be receiving medical care to get them healthy before adopting them out.”

The Sedalia Animal Shelter, a municipal shelter that relies upon donations for its ongoing efforts, reminded its patrons that there are myriad deserving cats, kittens, and dogs in their kennels looking for forever homes. “If you want to specifically help the cats from this situation,” staffers clarified, “please consider donating monetary donations to put toward their medical treatments.”

Merlot, Sonando, and their surviving siblings now have the chance to recover in safe surrounds and enjoy a better, brighter future.

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