All Sections

Home | Animals

Rescued from pet carrier, Claremont cats are thriving

Union Leader Correspondent

December 03. 2017 9:31PM
Lori Caouette of Claremont is fostering the 12 cats at the center of last months shocking animal cruelty case. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)

CLAREMONT — Twelve surviving rescued cats at the center of an animal cruelty case are thriving in their foster home.

“I am shocked at how friendly these cats are. Every single one of them,” Sullivan County Humane Society Board Vice President Sherry Bell said.

On Nov. 12, police responded to Tremont Street and found 14 cats stuffed inside a medium-sized pet carrier. It appeared they had been left outside overnight in the freezing cold. One of the cats was dead inside the carrier; another had to be euthanized.

All of the cats were covered with feces and soaked in blood and urine, shelter officials said. They were suffering from hypothermia, dehydration, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Most were not spayed or neutered and they were all underweight.

“That was long-term neglect,” Bell said. “It takes a little bit to get that skinny.”

Dwaine Lord, 64, and Crystal Lamonda, 42, both of Tremont Street in Claremont, were each charged with 14 counts of cruelty to animals.

The cats were taken to the Sullivan County Humane Society in Claremont.

Lori Caouette of Claremont stepped forward to foster the 12 cats in her home; the society’s shelter is at its 40-cat capacity.

“They were traumatized from everything that was going on,” Caouette said. “It took close to a week before they started acting more social and acting like cats as opposed to scared little animals.”

The Humane Society has full custody of the cats and intends to begin adopting the animals once the former owners are arraigned; Lord and Lamonda are due in Claremont District Court on Jan. 8.

The adoption fee will be $100 each. Caouette said she plans to adopt two of the cats.

Tony Flores, director of social media and marketing for the humane society, said he is doing what he can online to raise awareness about what you can do if you have a cat you can’t keep.

People don’t have to abandon or leave cats outside, Flores said.

“I don’t think that’s ever really an option. If you don’t have family, if you don’t have friends you can always bring them to a shelter,” Flores said. “To have them put out onto the street is unacceptable.”

Bell said the Sullivan County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter.

“It took them almost 24 hours to stop shivering,” Flores said of the rescued cats. “I’m just glad all of them have gained, on average, two pounds. They are looking so good.”

Courts Crime Animals Claremont

More Headlines