WEST PRESTONSBURG — Kittens, kittens and more kittens are pouring into the Floyd County Animal shelter, and officials are saying enough is enough.
Shauna Brown, manager of the Floyd County Animal Shelter, estimates the shelter is taking in 80 kittens every week.
“People are bringing in entire litters of kittens,” Brown said. She added that the shelter has enough space to hold 170 animals, and over 100 of those spaces are currently filled with cats and kittens.
Brown says the animal shelter will now only take kittens if the mother cat is surrendered or taken to get spayed. She said cat dropoffs have become so frequent that they now have to do it by appointment.
“We have a list of appointments for people who want to bring in cats,” said Brown.
Brown admits she knows what happens to the kittens they turn away. “They probably will end up alongside a road somewhere.”
Brown says something must be done to stem the flow of kittens and cats being left to unchecked breeding.
“Two cats can make a hundred,” in a very short amount of time, says Brown. Unchecked breeding is also leading to genetic deformities due to inbreeding. Kittens and cats are showing up at the shelter with missing toes or extra toes, and other physical deformities.
According to Brown, the lack of care being taken with cats is also leading to increased numbers of kittens carrying panleukopenia, a terribly contagious disease that, if unnoticed, can kill all the cats and kittens in the facility. Brown says the shelter now vaccinates all cats for the disease.
Brown’s message is a simple one: People need to spay and neuter their animals, and penalties for animal cruelty need to be increased. “We need some kind of spay or neuter policy in this county, and stronger cruelty to animal penalties.”
Misty Dawn Holbrook, 33, of Prestonsburg, was charged last week with first-degree cruelty to animal after she allegedly left a mini-pincer in a cage to starve to death over a number of days. According to Brown, Holbrook spent only four hours in jail for the offense.
After checking with the Floyd County Detention Center, it was confirmed that Holbrook spent less than four hours in jail, and was released on a $5,000 surety bond. Holbrook is scheduled to be arraigned June 13.
Calls seeking comment from Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall about how the county’s animal control office efforts to control the growing unwanted cat populace were not returned.