Now that the show has aired, my contract with Animal Planet regarding the show is over, we were not allowed to talk publicly about it until it aired.
Joa’s Arc is run by three people: Jennifer Miles Smith, Jen Wesh and myself. We rescue special need animals.
A local rescuer met Marie's boyfriend at a store buying tons of cat food and struck up a conversation with him. He asked Tina V for help. She went to the house and called me knowing it was such a big rescue.
I went over and was shocked. The two Jens came over and I promised Marie we would save them, not really knowing how to do it, but I swear the cats were begging for help through their eyes. Paula D from AWA/STAF was there too and she in turn got help with spay/neutering the cats. I contacted Nancy W , the local ACO, to inform her of the situation knowing she had to know what was going on and that she would help.
I contacted Animal Planet knowing we needed help. All of us working endlessly taking pics of the cats, posting them as you all saw during the summer and taking them to the clinic for surgery. We had to wait for Animal Planet to decide if they could help.
Before Animal Planet came on scene in July, we had already placed about 60 cats. During the filming of the show, roughly 110 cats were removed. We ran out of rescues so about 18 cats remained in the house after "the big removal".
One of the cats gave birth that night to a litter of kittens. They were pulled immediately and went to Tina. In the meanwhile, we started working on placement for the remaining cats. We removed them all by November. including 11 more kittens. One kitten was paralyzed and died. Another was extremely sick and after two weeks I couldn't save her and she died. So the true total was just under 200.
The show has given Marie the option for counseling forever if she decides she wants it. She has not taken the offer as of now, but I hope she changes her mind.
Marie took 12 cats off the streets initially and, since most were not spay/neutered, they all bred creating this situation. The show should have stressed the importance of spaying because this could all have been avoided.
She is still dealing with municipal charges and the city housing department will be monitoring her home to assure it doesn't happen again. She still lives in the house, AP helped with repairs to the livingroom but it is up to her to complete the repairs upstairs.
Without intervention, repeat rate is 100% so I pray she gets help. It was mentioned in the show that Marie did this back in 1997. All the animals were removed back then and euthanized which was so sad - they were never given the chance. Besides the cats being the victims, her daughter Vicky was a victim. I was so worried about her last night, knowing her secret was going to be exposed. Vicky has been thru a lot and I pray she finds the strength to deal with this.
This was truly a group effort by many rescues and shelters. I am so proud we all came together for the sake of the animals and proved it can be done.
Feel free to look back into our blog. Now that our contract is done, we'll be adding back dated posts which include a lot of pictures and information. This was a huge, big task that took a lot of time, effort, emotion and teamwork!
Thank you to everyone that was involved and thank you for all your support for our group and these cats.