Over the weekend, Fairfax County officials removed dozens of cats from a home on Village Drive in Annandale. The following is information on the animals, the case and how you can help.
How many cats were at the property?
As of Saturday afternoon, Fairfax County officials had removed 114 cats from the home on Village Drive and were searching the property for more. By the end of the weekend, the number of removed cats was estimated to be between 160 and 170.
Where are the cats now?
The cats are at various veterinary hospitals in the area, but Fairfax County officials are not disclosing the exact locations. They are being evaluated, and some are reportedly being treated for respiratory conditions.
Can I adopt one?
Not yet. The earliest any of the Village Drive cats might be available for adoption is next month. Check with Annandale Patch for updated information in a couple of weeks.
Can I help the cats in some way?
Yes! Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, a private, non-profit organization, is accepting donations. The group is asking for: towels (clean or gently used), flat sheets (clean or gently used), bleach, newspapers, Avoderm dry and wet cat food, and Royal Canin baby cat food. In addition, FFCAS is accepting monetary donations through their website at www.ffcas.org/support.html. You can specify your donation is for the "Village Drive Cats."
Does Fairfax County have regulations limiting the number of animals someone can own?
Technically, there is no limit on the number of cats a person can own, according to Fairfax County animal codes. There are limits for other animals. Regardless, all animals must be cared for properly.
What is hoarding?
Hoarding is defined as the "excessive collection and retention" of items or animals. More information on the disorder is available here from the Fairfax County Government or here from the Mayo Clinic.
If I think someone is hoarding animals or objects in my community, what can I do?
Fairfax County has a Hoarding Task Force in place to help in these situations. The group "combines the resources of county agencies to provide a coordinated response to residential hoarding when it threatens life, safety and property," according to the task force's website. These agencies include both adult and child protective services, the fire department, health department and many others.
You can contact the Hoarding Task Force at (703) 324-1300 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Have there been other animal hoarding cases in Fairfax County?
Yes. In 2005, for example, a woman in Burke had close to 500 cats. Sadly, many were dead or had to be euthanized for health reasons. See this washingtonpost.com story for more on that case.
More questions? Post them below in our comments and we'll try to find answers for you!