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Dozens of cats seized from animal rescue in Pueblo

AWR Cats Tails Rescue owner charged with animal cruelty
One cat seized
Posted at 3:17 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 20:08:58-05

PUEBLO — News 5 Investigates has confirmed dozens of cats were seized from a non-profit rescue in Pueblo.

The owner of the rescue, Shelley McPherson, is charged with animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) seized more than 100 cats over the course of two separate visits to AWR Cat Tails Rescue this year.

Cats seized from rescue in Pueblo

The latest rescue happened just before Halloween and resulted in 78 cats being removed during that visit.

Gretchen Pressley, the Community Relations Manager for HSPPR says the cats were being kept in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Some of the cats needed mental attention and dental procedures.

Sue Lynch, HSPPR chief veterinarian

"The challenge with this case is the number of cats that had ringworm that we had to treat," Sue Lynch, HSPPR's chief veterinarian said. "All of the cats had to be quarantined because half of them were exposed to ringworm and half of them had ringworm. A lot of them needed tooth extractions and those have all been performed and the cats are doing well."

HSPPR says it's never their goal to remove animals from their owner, but some cases are severe enough where action is required.

"In this case, we had been working with this particular owner for a number of months trying to get a resolution," Pressley said.

Shelley McPherson, AWR Cat Tails Rescue
Shelley McPherson, AWR Cat Tails Rescue

Court records show McPherson is charged with animal cruelty and has an arraignment scheduled for January 28, 2021.

Her facility is reportedly closed, but News 5 Investigates found McPherson's web site is still up---soliciting donations.

HSPPR says McPherson has not paid fees to care for the animals so the humane society has legally obtained rights to them.

"The cost of care had not been paid so HSPPR took ownership of these cats and we were then able to get them up for adoption."

As of early December, 3 dozen cats have already been nursed back to health and adopted.

Cats seized from AWR

"Unfortunately it does happen where our animal law enforcement does have to be involved in investigating other rescue organizations in our region," Pressley said. "Some unfortunately get in over their heads."

We've learned that a couple of the cats had medical issues so severe, staff had to unfortunately put them down.

If you're interested in adopting any of the cats that are currently looking for new homes right now, you can contact the HSPPR at 719-473-1741.

Another cat seized

The HSPPR in Colorado Springs is located at 610 Abbot Ln.

News 5 sent a message to McPherson for comment through her web site.

If we hear back, we'll be sure to update this story accordingly.

If you have a problem or issue you'd like News 5 Investigates to look into, please send an email to News5Investigates@KOAA.com.