LEON VALLEY, Texas – The open window of a second-floor apartment in Leon Valley did nothing for the disgusting stench from the filthy conditions that 18 cats had been living in for up to three weeks after their owner had to move out.
Leon Valley police are investigating and looking into filing charges against the former tenant.
Kimberly Bohl, a volunteer with the Cute and Cuddlie Animal Welfare Society, said the maintenance man at the Forest Oaks Apartments told them the tenant had been evicted, but left the cats behind.
“He was a guardian angel, because he actually is the one that gave us permission to go in and get the babies and save them,” Bohl said.
Bohl said another guardian angel perhaps had a key and was feeding them, judging by how healthy the cats seemed.
Bohl said she and D.J., another volunteer, found no sign of food and water amid the overturned furniture where the cats were hiding. The cats were also up and under mattresses and on top of the refrigerator.
“It breaks my heart when we get called into something like this,” Bohl said.
She said they spent five and half hours rounding up every cat and putting them in crates. Before they arrived, someone on Sunday had even put up a makeshift ladder below the open window in hopes the cats would climb down.
“It looked like fence posts put together with branches for rungs wrapped by electrical tape, angled and in a flower pot,” Bohl said.
“I tried to hold the ladder, hoping they’d come down because it wasn’t a sturdy ladder, but someone tried,” D.J. said.
Bohl said she urges anyone willing to help with the cats’ food, upkeep and veterinary care to contact the Hill Country Animal League in Boerne.
“We can’t handle this alone,” she said.
Bohl said the cats need to be spayed and neutered and be examined and assessed by the league’s veterinarians to make certain the cats are healthy enough to be adopted. Until that time, she said they need qualified foster homes.
Bohl said she still doesn’t understand why the prior apartment managers didn’t do something or why the owner abandoned them.
“They just don’t care. I don’t know how anybody could do that, because we’re supposed to have respect for all life,” she said.