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SPCA steps in to save cats from crowded home

May 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An East L.A. woman's mission to take care of homeless cats has quickly become a catastrophe. It got so bad Lucille Aguilera had to call spcaLA to help remove dozens of cats from her home.Aguilera, 79, says she intended to take good care of the cats, but the situation quickly became much more than she could handle, but fortunately she realized she was in over her head and contacted authorities for help.

One by one spcaLA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Los Angeles) workers carried out nearly 30 cats and kittens from Aguilera's small apartment on Friday.

"They come here and of course I feed them and they have babies. I don't know how to leave them," said Aguilera. "I've been crying because I had to get rid of them."

Aguilera admits that she has had trouble taking care of the cats. Neighbors have also complained about the number of animals and the potential for disease.

Since Lucia asked for help she won't face any charges. Authorities said the situation is not entirely her fault. Many of the cats were dumped on her by people in the neighborhood.

"You usually have a person like this who starts collecting a few cats and feeding the neighborhood cats," said spcaLA president Madeline Bernstein. "The next thing you know, the neighborhood comes and they start dumping their cats on them. She is spending her money caring for these cats."

All the cats were fed and watered, Bernstein said, but Aguilera didn't have much money and could barely afford food, much less veterinarian bills.

Some of the cats are in need of healthcare, others just need to be cleaned up. Most of the cats will end up in shelters for adoption.


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