Officials from PURR West Virginia have seized more than 60 cats from their homes in Marion, Taylor, and Nicholas counties, with the help of an international organization that came in to assist with the seizures.
"It's been a crazy 72 hours," said Lorna Vincent-Venter of P.U.R.R. West Virginia.
Representatives from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said the conditions in which the cats were living were deplorable and left some of the animals requiring severe medical attention.
Hope was the very first cat to be rescued in PUUR West Virginia's rescue mission.
"She has an injury with her eye. This eye probably got infected or injured a long time ago, and it kind of just healed by itself. But by doing so, she's most likely blind in that eye. But she seems to be doing just fine with that one eye. She probably doesn't even notice," said Alexander Johnson of IFAW, who came from the company's headquarters in Massachusetts to assist in the seizure.
Hope's saving grace came in the form of volunteers, some of whom came all the way from Massachusetts without any hesitation.
"I knew that we had to do it. We had to be involved. And so, we brought some of our rescuers, our cat behaviorists, some handlers," said Shannon Walajtys of IFAW.
"We could NOT do missions like this without the help of our partners," said Vincent-Venter.
It wasn't an easy mission, but those involved knew it had to be done.
"There was urine and feces, just horrible conditions for an animal or humans to live in," said Johnson.
"The cats were in dire straights. With those situations, the cats could not have survived very much longer," said Vincent-Venter.
Even though those cats are no longer living in those deplorable conditions, volunteers say the animals aren't out of the woods just yet.
"A lot of these cats had a lot of upper-respiratory issues when we rescued them. When there's so much urine in one location, the ammonia builds up."
But for the first time in many of their lives, these cats have a reason to live.
"Neighbors can help each other, and I got that feeling everywhere we went this weekend."
Officials are now caring for the cats to get them ready for adoptive homes.
If you'd like to adopt a cat, call (304) 265-4671 or visit P.U.R.R. West Virginia's website.