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MN woman ordered to get rid of cats

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This story is in today's online Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Austin cat lover ordered to get rid of felines
Associated Press

Published October 28, 2003 AUST29

AUSTIN, MINN. -- An Austin woman must get rid of some of her 25 cats or face a city citation.

Mary Draayer has one month to lower the number of cats in her home to meet the city code regarding pets.

Police were called to Draayer's home on a complaint that she was charging for giving vaccinations to cats she was giving away.

Draayer says she was only charging for the vaccine -- not the vaccinations. Still, 25 cats is more than the city allows for in homes, and she must get rid of some of them. Draayer runs a private cat adoption agency she calls ``Cats Off Broadway'' and does not have a kennel license.

This story doesn't give enough info, like the conditions of the house and the health of the cats. But it sounds to me like someone got mad because she had the nerve to ask them to pay for the vaccinations, and turned her in. I hope there is a kennel license she can get. I'm going to see if I can find a more detailed article, and will post it if I can.
post #2 of 19
sounds like a good idea Suzy, we don't know enough for me to be comfortable voicing an opinion on this.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I can't find the story anywhere else at all so far, not even in Austin's local online paper. I will keep looking...
post #4 of 19
Sounds to me like someone got their panties in a ruffle because they wanted a free cat and she wouldn't give one to them. (As all good rescuers know, even a few dollars puts a value on the animal...) I'm sure there is more to it than that, there always is...some argument over something else...

But I have to say, she doesn't sound like a hoarder. They don't adopt out cats, nor do they get them vaccinated.
post #5 of 19
25, thats a lot of cats!!!
post #6 of 19
Uhhh No it isn't....
post #7 of 19
yeah... i think it is
post #8 of 19
I have to say, 25 may be a lot for some people. May be just right for others. It depends on your resources. As long as each one gets proper care and individual attention....
post #9 of 19
I agree that I think someone got their panties in a wad Sounds like she was trying to do good for the animals. It doesnt sound like she owns all 25 cats.. if she's adopting them out.

There are a few people here with that many cats. I know Purrrfect has around 20 indoor/out and they're all happy and healthy.
post #10 of 19
YIKES!! 25 cats is too many!!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know a couple who run a feline rescue out of their home - they have a big heated room that is connected to the house by a large bridgeway. The bridgeway is lined with litterboxes - probably about 15-20 of them. One wall of the cat's room is lined with stacked kennels, exactly like at the vet's office. We showed up with almost no notice with someone who was there to adopt a cat. The litterboxes were spotless, many cats were out playing together, some in the kennels - and they all looked very clean and healthy.

I didn't count, and it's been a few years, but I think they may have had 15 or so cats at the time, and it didn't seem overcrowded in the least. So I don't think 25 is too many if you are set up for it properly.

The more I think about this, I think the police would have called the health department if this woman's cats were in bad condition. There are stories all the time about animals being rescued from good-intentioned people (and some not-so-good-intentioned) when they are not being taken care of properly. Maybe today there will be something in the local Austin paper about this.
post #12 of 19
25 is not a lot, if she has a decent sized house, and help taking care of them. We manage 16 without a problem here! Now, it would be a lot of work if I were doing this alone, but there are 2 of us sharing the tasks, and it goes smoothly 99% of the time. I can see us with as many as 20 cats, if need be, but that would be the most this house (2500 sq ft, including finished basement and attic) can handle.

It sounds like someone had "sour grapes" at this woman and decided to get nasty. I feel terrible for her, if I was told I had to get rid of some of my furkids, I think I would move to a town that didn't have that kind of ordinance. I am fortunate that the town where I live does NOT have an ordinance regarding number of cats.
post #13 of 19
Quick and probably dumb question: couldn't she just get a kennel license? Isn't that why she's not allowed to have so many cats?
post #14 of 19
My husband and I feel maxed out at 15 right now. But only because with anymore, we couldn't give them all the attention that we feel they need. The woman that runs the humane society I volunteer for has 38 cats in her house right now, and probably more than half are special needs cats (diabetics, CRF, ferals in transition, behavior problems, etc). I really don't know how she does it. She does have a license, so no worry about eviction at her place.
post #15 of 19
Well, without knowing the rest of the story, I'd be inclined to feel very lenient toward her for two items in the article: 1. She vaccinated her cats, and 2. She was adopting them out.

This doesn't sound like a hoarder, so I'd agree that sounds like someone was pissed that she didn't give them a free cat, and had the nerve to charge for the vaccination cost. Geez.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to find a more detailed article about this, and have had no luck. I even e-mailed the local daily newspaper to see if they published anything, but haven't received any reply.
post #17 of 19
Okay, after some research I really don't think this is a hoarding situation, as implied in the original article. Ms. Draayer doesn't fit the usual animal collector profile at all.

From the Cats Off Broadway website:

The health of each cat is the first need that is met. Mary brings thin cats up to a healthy weight, addresses fleas, shots and vetinary costs, before placing in good homes. Mary has been acknowledged in the local press for her service of providing a midwife type of service to expecting mother cats. Finding good homes for the cats can be every bit as challenging as meeting the costs of her gentle, humanitarian effort.

Mary thanks the kind people from her community who volunteer to help her when extra care is needed. (emphasis mine -- kira)
That last sentence is very ironic, since one of those community members also called the cops on her.

BUT ... all that said, I find something a little odd. Seems a little strange that there are NO pictures of the cats or the home itself on the site, isn't it? There's not even a list of cats for adoption. And yet there are donation links and a pitch for using a phone service through which Cats Off Broadway gets a contribution. Hmmm.

FWIW, here's a report that MSNBC did on the situation -- not very detailed, but it does contain an interview w/Ms. Draayer, so it's a bit more balanced.

I did notice the info that apparently Austin allows a maximum of only three adult cats per household. That's crazy. Geeze, my sister had four cats in a studio apartment here in NYC, and while it was awfully furry it was certainly not outrageous.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Kira. I did a bunch of searches for that website and didn't find it.

I went to the site, and there is a link to click on to take you to pictures of the cats she has up for adoption on petfinder.com. Another feline rescue I know of shows their available cats the same way.

My city has a limit of 2 cats and 2 dogs.
post #19 of 19
DUH, you're right, I'm an idiot. I even saw that link and them promptly forgot about it when I got involved in reading the history. Sometimes my flakiness scares the bejabers out of me.

Thanks Suzy! That makes me feel better about COB, and worse about her situation. Petfinders should do a special promotion/story about this, maybe adopters would be more likely to choose a COB cat.
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