PARKTON, Md. (WJZ) — There are dozens and dozens of cats, and a woman who can no longer care for them.

Suzanne Collins reports on efforts to save their lives.

The sound of food brings cats swarming to Sharon Wheeler’s deck in Parkton.  She loves animals, but in a few years, three abandoned kittens living in the barn turned into 50 cats.  Her husband just died and she’s putting a call out for help.

“The problem here is the population is getting out of hand.  I couldn’t continue to feed them because he’s not here and financially need help,” said Wheeler.

Animal Rescue arrived with traps and cages to take a few cats at a time to their shelter for spaying.  They want to stop the colony from getting even bigger.  Cats must recover from surgery in a warm place, but the shelter has limited space.

“We would love to be able to bring our mobile unit here and do as many as we can in one day, but because of the weather we’re doing about 10 to 15 at a time,” said Grace Froelich, Animal Rescue.

Animal Rescue says most of these cats are very healthy. Some of them are also very friendly, somewhat domesticated and it is believed many will be adoptable.

“I’ve seen them with Sharon.  They come around. She can pet them, may take a bit of extra work to be able to pick them up and cuddle them,” said Froelich. “But I think a lot of these cats have the potential of being house cats.”

Animal Rescue is using a grant from the Snyder Foundation to pay for the spaying, but it needs donations for food. They also want to impart a message: don’t abandon unwanted cats in the country.

“If you cannot keep your cat, take your cat to a shelter. It may not find a home, but it’s a lot kinder than a cat that dies of starvation,” said Froelich.

If you are interested in donating to Animal Rescue to help cover the cost of spaying and food, or can adopt a cat, click here.

Comments (16)
  1. bob Pyle says:

    Animal Rescue is the greatest ! Please donate! Bob Pyle

  2. Sherry says:

    who can we contact to leave food or money?

    1. Summer says:

      717-993-3232 Animal Rescue

  3. grady says:

    It’s called EUTHANASIA.
    How many cats does the world need? Not 50 more that’s for sure.
    This isn’t an “I hate cats” post, this is an “I hate animal overpopulation” post. This goes for all domesticated animals overrunning cities and homes.

    “”If you cannot keep your cat, take your cat to a shelter. It may not find a home, but it’s a lot kinder than a cat that dies of starvation,” said Froelich.”
    Exactly- painless death vs starving to death. It’s a pretty simple solution.

    1. Jennifer says:

      When Grace said take your cat to a shelter, I think she was referring to a NO-KILL shelter, not a KILL shelter. A cat has a better chance living outside than it has going to a KILL shelter and getting KILLED days later.

      Euthanasia is not a solution, spay and neuter IS. It is only a solution for suffering and sick animals. This woman taking care of the cats did not ask for this problem. Irresponsible people caused it. She should be commended for taking care of all of them.

      Many people like yourself think euthanizing perfectly healthy animals is the solution, but it is not. Spaying and neutering all animals IS the solution. Euthanasia is an easy way out.

      1. jill stankis says:

        Animal Rescue, Inc. – please call them at 717-993-3232 – they desperately need help with this project and many others – there are many, many other farms like this all around Baltimore and Harford County – where people abandon their animals unspayed and uneutered and they multipy quickly and the homeowners and farmers are unable to care for them. This is just one story of many that Animal Rescue deals with on a daily basis. They are going to help Donna feed these animals and spay and neuter them, but everyone’s help is needed either to adopt one, help to defray costs of spaying and neutering, and feeding them. Animal Rescue Inc. is the BEST non-profit NO KILL Shelter anywhere around!!!!!
        Jill S. Bel Air, Md.

    2. Sean says:

      I can say the same thing about human overpopulation. EUTHANASIA OF A-HOLES! Sorry nature is overrunning your landscape.

  4. Lizzie says:

    Jennifer, you are mistaken. Euthanasia may be an easy way out, but it’s preferable to freezing or starving to death. I’m sure that Grace did NOT mean only take it to a no-kill shelter. I agree with her whole-heartedly.

  5. rb says:

    I am trying not to judge but I don’t understand why the original cats weren’t trapped, spayed/neutered, and released. Seems the cost to do this to 3 cats would have been a lot less than the cost to feed so many. Isn’t this a case of hoarding in a way?

    1. Lizzie says:

      rb, you’re right.. If this couple had given it a little thought they could have cut it off at 3 cats.

  6. Mike says:

    Feral cats pose major problems. They have major impacts on local wildlife. And are also a Rabies Risk to all who come into contact with them if they are not vacinated. Spay & Nueter and Euthanise to control the population to aviod problems. Pet owners must be held responsible for the animals they keep to avoid these type of problems. It is unfortunate that problems reach this level.

  7. Rose Ann Sabaka says:

    She should have called for help when she had three cats and they would not have multplied to 50. Don’t punish the animals for the woman’s stupidity.

  8. cgavin says:

    Jennifer and Sean you are great. Let’s euthanize the idiot’s who dump their pets and not the animals who are innocent victims. Some comments are just nonsense. The chances of a cat having rabies are about 1 in a million. Yes I know this as fact because I am a vet. Additionally, cats will not starve in the wild. They are hunters by nature and have no severe effect on wildlife. In fact they are an excellent way to control rats which carry lepto, a much more common disease then rabies. I wish people would educate themselves before they speak. It’s redundant to ask why they were not controlled when the numbers were smaller. The problem is here. My clinic has offered to help.

  9. Jill says:

    Animal Rescue would NEVER promote shelters that euthanize animals as a way of population control or any other reason!!! Everyone is mistaken by
    Grace’s commenbts about taking them to a shelter. She is the founder of Animal Rescue Inc and it is a NO KILL shelter, so people took this one comment where she meant to get them out of the cold, it was NOT HER INTENTION ever to mean euthanize them, the point is don’t leave your cats for someone else to deal with and cause this problem. Unfortunately, Donna didn’t have them spayed and neutered in the beginning, but now the problem is out there, lets do something about it. There is a wonderful group in Harford County that is called Project Cat Snip and it does TNRs with many of these animals that need to be spayed and neutered and Animal Rescue has a low cost spay and neuter program to help people who cannot afford spaying and neutering. Contact for details.

  10. Mike says:

    Go back to Vet School feral cats that live outside come into contact with many rabbies vector species and if not vaccinated pose a major health risk.Anyone that comes in contact with any mammal and gets scratched or bitten must report it to the local heath dept. and should be treated for exposure to rabbies.If any mammal including Humans are infected with Rabbies and goes untreated Death will be the outcome. Once signs of the disease start showing it is to late to treat and Death is the only outcome. Letting a Child or anyone handle wild farm kittens that haven’t been vaccinated is like playing Russian Roullette and not a risk worth taking just because they are cute and cuddlely. Spay, Nueter and Vaccinate be a responsible pet owner. Do not down play the risk of rabbies please for the saftey of all.

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