Cats suffered from maggots

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Officials with Horry County have released a preliminary report of just how many cats seized from an alleged cat hoarder were forced to be put down due to severe health issues.

Lisa Bourcier, spokeswoman for Horry County, said 107 cats were euthanized by a veterinarian after suffering from multiple medical conditions such as the following:

  • Severe infestation of herpes and ringworm
  • Severe gum disease and missing teeth
  • Tumors
  • Lesions
  • Anal maggots
  • Multiple abdominal abscesses
  • Seizures
  • Cracked and bloody pads of feet

"I've seen those cats a couple of times and from what they're saying is wrong with them, what they're saying is not consistent with what I'm seeing." said Greg McCollum, an attorney representing the previous owner of the cats.

Back in September, the owner of Sacred Visions Animal Shelter, Elizabeth Owen, was charged with violating Horry County's animal care and treatment ordinance. Solicitor Greg Hembree with the 15th Circuit Judicial Court in Horry County said the case was forced to be continued due to a lack of evidence.

On Tuesday, at the urging of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a judge ordered Owen would lose nearly 300 cats she kept at SVAS to the county until a trial could be conducted.

That afternoon, officers with the Horry County Police Department and other officials from the county went to SVAS to remove 237 cats and one dog in total. The county then returned 29 cats and the dog to Owen.

Bourcier said the remaining 101 cats have medical issues such as runny noses and eyes, ulcers and hair loss among others, but are being treated with strong antibiotics.

WMBF News and other media outlets are expected to view the remaining 101 cats on Friday. The cats are being held in clean cages with plenty of food. Bourcier said the cats were also playing.

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