Shelter: Cats never saw vet
Published 12:05 am Saturday, December 1, 2012
Andalusia Animal Shelter is now working to save the 14 cats seized Tuesday from a home of a woman who scammed pet lovers nationwide out more than $25,000 in cash and thousands more in pet supplies.
Sharlotte Marie Adams, the 30-year-old operator of Animal Aid and Rescue Resources Inc. located on Lori Lane, was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft, animal cruelty and child endangerment. She has since been released on bond.
Police also removed three adult dogs and five small puppies and placed them in family care.
Since then, Christin Ball and her AAS staff have worked since Tuesday to treat the cats for severe infections.
Adams allegedly used the social media website, Facebook, and other sites to solicit cash to treat the animals; however, Ball said that claim “is absolutely untrue.”
“They were all sick,” Ball said of the animals. “There’s one that we’re not sure if he’s going to make it or not. They’ve had no care whatsoever. It’s sad. She claimed she’d taken them to the vet, but no one had. As it turns out, she was self-treating them with the wrong meds.”
Ball, who was on hand when police raided the home, said the cats were in one room inside the home.
“The smell in the house was nothing like I’ve ever smelled before,” she said. “It was atrocious.”
Police also seized more than 40 pet cages, which range in price from $50 to $250 each, Ball said; pallets of cat liter, food and other assorted supplies; and items such as a digital pet scale and a cat tree.
“That cat tree, we tried to raise the money to get one for here,” Ball said. “That thing is $6,500.”
The items can’t be used by shelter until the case is disposed, Ball said.
Police believed Adams took advantage of peoples’ generosity by using cash donations – solicited under the guise of treating sick animals – to pay for personal items such as electric bills and groceries for the family.
Throughout the week, the office has been inundated with calls from Adams’ alleged victims, Ball said.
“I’ve talked with the people who’ve donated, and they are furious,” she said. “But what we’re telling people is that we need money for (the cats’) care. So far, the city has a $1,500 vet bill, and that’s not including the neutering or spaying. That’s just to get them healthy so we can get them adopted.”
Ball said there won’t be an adoption fee charged for those wishing to take home one of the cats; instead, only a spaying or neutering charge.
To donate to the AAC, contact Ball at 222-8705 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.