9 cats rescued in animal cruelty case to be cared for by inmates

9 cats rescued in animal cruelty case to be cared for by inmates

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

15 cats allegedly left without food, water or air conditioning for days. Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies believe they were abused and one cat was even killed.

Now most of those cats have been rescued by the sheriff's animal safe haven. Three of the cats were already adopted, another 3 were taken by the Humane Society. But 9 of them are being cared for by inmates until they're ready for their forever homes.

These are the conditions 15 cats one lived in for weeks. One was even found dead in a kitchen drawer. Deputies blame their owner, 25-year-old Bradley Oliver.

"You can't just leave animals in an apartment to starve to death, you know, you just can't," says Amanda Taylor.

Amanda Taylor lives at the Arbor Apartments where the cats were discovered and cared for them for nearly three weeks while police investigated. She's grateful for those who have stepped up to take in the cats.

"Just to be able to know what it's like to be loved, have food, water, not have to suffer, struggle like they did. I'm happy they get that opportunity."

Nine of the cats now live at the Maricopa Animal Safe Haven, or MASH. Their cages are old jail cells so some snuggle up in sinks, or cuddle up in kitty condos. Their caretakers are inmates.

"The cats will be well cared for, just like the dogs are and we hope to adopt them out," says Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

After allegedly enduring and witnessing animal cruelty, these cats have good reason to be afraid of humans. But the sheriff says the inmates will help them regain trust with people and make good pets.

"We try to do what we can to save the animals, but there's another feature to the story and that's to have the inmates love the animals and the animals love the inmates."

Bradley Oliver now faces animal cruelty charges. The cats will be up for adoption soon.

For more information on adoption contact:
Mash@mcso.maricopa.gov
602-876-1212

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