The cats taken from Pam and Almon “Bud” Flanders’ house in Dacono is likely the worst case of animal hoarding and disease the Longmont Humane Society has ever had to face, officials believe.
The shelter is holding 23 cats trapped at the Flanders’ home over the weekend, most of which are infected with ringworm and some with feline herpes, said Brianna Beauveait, spokeswoman for the Longmont Humane Society.
And there’s probably more on the way, as Dacono police will continue trapping cats at the home today.
She said it’s the largest case of its kind that the Humane Society has ever had.
“What it will cost to treat these animals will be astronomical,” she said, estimating the tally will be in the thousands of dollars.
Sick cats must be euthanized in many cases, Beauveait said. Three of the Dacono cats were euthanized because of progressed cases of feline herpes.
For the rest of the cats with lesser symptoms, the humane society must wait to see if the Weld County District Attorney’s Office files any charges against Pam and Bud Flanders. Until then, the cats are technically still the couple’s and cannot be put down.
They may have to wait as long as 10 days, she added.
“We can’t do a thing, so nobody is moving,” she said.
The diseases are treatable, Beauveait added. A diagnosis from a veterinarian will likely be released today about whether the animals can be saved.
Meanwhile, the Humane Society must quarantine all 23 cats in a special area to keep from infecting other animals and employees, Beauveait said.
She said it does cause some challenges in a building that is probably already too small for a normal load of animals.
“We have to handle it; there’s no other choice,” she said.
Douglas Crowl can be reached at
303-684-5253, or by e-mail