As temperatures climbed to over 90F in the US state of Minnesota, a man living in his car with his 47 cats was forced to surrender his pets to the Animal Humane Society.
On Tuesday, authorities said that a man who had recently become homeless was found parked at a south-eastern Minnesota rest area with his nearly four dozen cats packed inside.
A concerned officer tapped on the van’s window to inquire about his wellbeing after noticing that the sweltering heat outside, in combination with the humidity, was likely driving the temperatures inside the vehicle to near unliveable highs.
“Unfortunately, with the heat yesterday he recognised that it was above and beyond what he was capable of at this time. And he let us help them out,” Animal Humane Society investigator Ashley Pudas told the Associated Press, noting that the man had made a point to not leave the animals alone at any point.
The man had been living in his car for “some time”, according to AHS, and he’d previously given up 14 of his cats before being found in the rest area with the four dozen animals.
The animal society was able to work quickly and safely remove all 47 animals, who ranged in age from under a year to nearly 12 years old – to the offices where they were all examined by veterinarians.
Despite the unsanitary and difficult living conditions that the animals were found in, the animal society noted that they all appeared to be in good health, with only some requiring treatment for dehydration.
“Yesterday, 47 animals’ lives were irrevocably changed,” the AHS wrote on Wednesday on their Facebook page. “Today, 47 cats are finally experiencing what it’s like to have their own space in which to sleep, play, and eat.”
The AHS said that all the cats are in the middle of examinations, and will be provided with up-to-date vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and will also treat the animals with specialised behavioural rehabilitation, as they noted that the pets are, understandably, “a little untrusting of our helping hand”.
“It will take days, if not weeks, to provide the ongoing care each animal needs,” they wrote.
The owner of the pets was similarly assessed by paramedics on the scene and provided with medical resources, the AHS added.