RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KARK) – What started as a small gesture of compassion has grown into a “cat-tastrophe” for one Russellville family. An older couple who didn’t have the heart to turn away a few strays is now overrun with a cat colony. Their granddaughter says they need help finding these cats a new home.
When first pulling into this house on Shiloh Pines Lane, the yard looks empty. But then, they start coming out of the woodwork. “I counted within a matter of seconds over 31 cats,” said Chasity Shipley. Her grandparents home has been overrun with cats, so many it’s hard to keep count. “They’re just kind of multiplying out here, it’s a really bad problem.”
What started out as just a few food bowls has now led to a worrisome problem. “When you come out in the garage in the morning time, or something,” Shipley said, “you just see the entire garage floor just move.” Her grandparents are spending hundreds of dollars a month on cat food alone, and lifting 40 pound food bags to and from the trunk of the car. Shipley says 80 pounds of cat food will last less than a week with how many cats are on their property. But besides the financial burden of caring for a cat colony, there’s also concern about her grandparents’ health. “Their constantly outside walking…around to feed all these cats and it’s a huge concern that they could fall,” Shipley said.
According to Shipley, this is a common problem in the neighborhood. She discovered this after posting about her cat issue online. “There was multiple people in the comments, ‘yeah I live on Crow Mountain, we have the same problem.'” A problem that she says they’ve received little help with. “The city won’t come out and help,” Shipley said, “because we’re right outside of city limits.” She adds that all the shelters she reached out to were either full or in another county, and couldn’t accept the dozens of cats ready for new homes. “I’ve called surrounding counties and other cities within a 200 mile radius, and so far the only one was the humane society in Havana.”
With Shipley and her family left to herd cats on their own, they worry the colony will continue to grow. “Apparently,” Shipley said, “it’s all over Crow Mountain.” Shipley and her family are desperate to find new homes for these cats. If you want a few new barn cats, or are willing to help donate traps and other supplies, you can reach out to Chasity Shipley directly at (479) 263-8228.