RICHMOND — The Berkshire Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties responsible for abandoning 16 cats amid a winter emergency over the weekend. end.
“It’s horrible for a lot of different reasons,” said John Perreault, executive director of the Berkshire Humane Society. “For someone who knew a weather emergency was coming to do this is just awful.”
Over the weekend, a small army of rescuers rushed into the snow and cold to save more than a dozen cats who were abandoned in the middle of a winter storm emergency.
Shortly before sunset on Friday, someone abandoned a dozen cats on a lonely road in Richmond. And six more cats were dumped in Lanesborough a day later, according to Perrault. So far, 13 of the animals are safe and recovering in the care of the Berkshire Humane Society and its partner, Berkshire Animal Dreams.
The first batch of cats was discovered on Friday evening by Joshua Christman, who was driving down the boat access road to Richmond Pond when he came across the group of cats and had to stop his truck because reported for the first time by WNYT Channel 13 News.
Christman, initially puzzled by the unusual scene, said he quickly grew concerned as he watched the animals shiver and meow. A cat was so cold that he climbed into the wheel well of his truck to keep warm, he said.
He posted a plea for help on social media and a group of animal lovers from Berkshire County came to help – with pet crates, flashlights and blankets in hand. The search continued until nightfall.
Among the helpers was Cara Petricca, operator of the Bluebird Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Cheshire, who posted the rescue on Facebook.
“[Twenty] weird people showed up looking for these cats in the dark in freezing weather, Berkshire Humane, Berkshire Animal Dreams, Bluebird Farm, Kaila Drosehn, Carrie Craw, Alison Rose and her mother Linda, so many faces I knew,” she said. writes, “and many, many others were there with headlamps, porters and traps, crawling on their bellies to look under the buildings. Neighbors came to help us.”
Eight of the Richmond cats were picked up and transported to the Pittsfield shelter, Perrault said.
At around 6pm on Saturday, six more cats were abandoned on Hunter Mountain Road in Lanesborough. Five of them were rescued by volunteers and first responders just before temperatures dropped below freezing.
Petricca told The Eagle there’s no need to give cats up when there are so many shelters and volunteers willing to help someone who can no longer care for their pet. And Perreault noted that anyone can surrender a pet to the shelter, and if they can’t afford the fee, the shelter will still take the animal.
He said the cats would be examined by a local veterinarian and once they had been treated and treated, they would be offered for adoption. Many of them needed special attention. They were aged from 6 months to about 7 years old.
Some people have already called to see if they could adopt one of the abandoned cats. It will take a few days or more before they are ready for adoption.
Meanwhile, volunteers and neighbors watch for the missing cats. Traps have been set up and neighbors check them periodically, Perreault said.
He noted that all cats at the Richmond scene are male and all cats found at Lanesborough are female. He speculated that this might indicate that the two abandonment incidents could have been committed by the same party.
Either way, Perreault hopes the $1,000 reward will lead to the arrest of the official.
Perreault said he “felt bad for the volunteers that were there. It was dark and cold, and then they had to stop looking knowing there were still cats in the snow – the last thing they wanted to do was walk away.