Large group of cats in Tatum still in need of rescue

Tatum police, neighbors, and even the small rescue group ”The Cats Meow,” have tried to get assistance from large rescue groups, with no luck so far.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 8:58 PM CDT
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TATUM, Texas (KLTV) - An urgent plea for help by neighbors and a small rescue operation continues Wednesday after a large number of cats were left behind at an East Texas home after their owner passed away.

It was 12 days ago we first brought you the story of an estimated 60 cats that were discovered on a property off of Whitney Street in Tatum. In spite of the best efforts of caring neighbors, around 30-35 cats still remain at the property.

“Somebody that’s able to, would they please come in and do something about the situation,” says concerned neighbor Deb Ross.

“The urgency of this situation is that there are dozens of cats and kittens that are without a longterm caregiver,” says the director of the recue group Cats Meow, Heather Payer-Smith.

Tatum police, neighbors, and even the rescue workers, have sought assistance from large rescue groups, with no luck so far.

There are complications in getting help out for such a large operation, the main one being logistics.

“We knew it was far bigger than we were able to tackle alone. Some of the rescues we hope to reach out to, hope to get help from, are farther away. Things are even further delayed by the need for travel accommodations, coordinating with the family,” Payer-Smith says.

Some animals have been removed, and adopted by locals, and Cats Meow workers have taken some of them to give them vet care.

“We did take some of the more pressing medical cases, but in total we’ve hardly made a dent in the population of kitties that are in need and still in need,” Heather says.

Sadly many of the felines been found dead, and some have died even after being rescued.

“This is overwhelming to me, and I’m sure for any organization, because I’ve never seen this many animals in one location. Someone needs to please do something,” Ross says.

Neighbors and family are still trying to feed and water the remaining cats until they can be rescued. The Cats Meow rescue group is working to try to get other humane organizations involved.

If you’d like to help, contact Tatum Police Department at (903) 947-2281 for guidance, or The Cat’s Meow Rescue via their website contact form. Click here for that.

An urgent plea for help by neighbors led to a small rescue operation in an effort to save a large number of cats left behind after their owner passed away.