Cats and kittens take toll on LA woman
Lucille Aguilera cared for abandoned and feral cats and kittens until she became overwhelmed.
Fri, May 21, 2010 at 04:30 PM
CATCHING CATS: Cat lover Lucille Aguilera waits as members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals remove 30 cats and kittens from her home. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP)
People she didn't know kept dumping cats in her yard, then the feral cats came for the food and then there were kittens and soon Lucille Aguilera was spending too much money, her health was in danger and she needed help.
Which she received on Friday when humane officers rounded up 30 cats and kittens from the home of the frail, 79-year-old woman.
Aguilera was warned by her doctor, her daughter and her care worker that she needed help, said Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. Aguilera cooperated with humane officers to come up with a roundup plan.
"I'm glad they came," Aguilera said.
Lazy people, sneaks and strangers used her, Bernstein said.
"I am just crying because I have to get rid of them. I don't know why they don't take them to the shelter. They just drop them off and leave them here. Some got run down in the alley. I hate to see cats die. I feel sorry for the cats. It's makes me feel bad because I love cats," Aguilera said.
Instead of taking unwanted pets to the shelter, people left them in her yard.
"She is not a classic hoarder with hoarder disorders. She is somebody good-natured, using her money to feed and care for the cats. People were taking advantage of her. She knew she needed help," Bernstein said.
It is a misdemeanor to deliberately abandon an animal anywhere in California.
All the cats were fed and watered, Bernstein said, but Aguilera didn't have much money and could barely afford food, much less veterinarian bills.
The cats were taken to the South Bay Pet Adoption Center, where vets will examine them. After a quarantine period, the healthy cats will be put up for adoption, Bernstein said. All except two, that is.
Aguilera, who said she has diabetes, high blood pressure and bladder problems, has been promised that she will get Tabby and Daisy back — after they are spayed.
Copyright 2010 AP News