MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Animal Services says the cats rescued from a Cordova animal abuse case have widespread symptoms of upper respiratory illness, and intestinal issues.
Many are also underweight. Three tested positive for feline leukemia, but more could be sick because the virus can take up to three months to show up.
Veterinarians say it's a highly contagious virus transferred only from feline to feline.
"But the big thing is the virus is really concentrated in the saliva so if you have multiple cats together, particularly ones that are sharing water, bowls, litter boxes, there's a high likelihood of contamination,” said Dr. Angie Zinkus from Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital.
Former police officer Charlotte Creasy faces dozens of animal cruelty charges in this case.
According to the affidavit, officers found one dog, 16 live cats and a dead cat inside Creasy’s home. Another eight cats were found outside in a shed.
This isn’t the first time Creasy has had a run-in with the law.
WMC5 uncovered court documents that show she plead guilty and was found guilty on three counts of cruelty to animals in the case. The charges were suspended under special conditions - Creasy could not manage or supervise any animal rescue, but she could volunteer and own pets.
MAS says taking in and treating these animals has put a strain on their resources. These cats are not available for adoption at this time, but officials want to remind everyone that other dogs and cats at the shelter are.
If you’d like to adopt a pet from MAS to help them clear up space, visit their website for more information.