107 cats euthanized

The cats were removed from Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary on Tuesday on a judge's order.

107 of the 208 cats seized from the Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary have been euthanized.

Tuesday, Judge Bradley Mayers ordered 237 cats and one dog turned over to the Horry County Animal Care Center.

Horry County Solicitor Gregg Hembree asked for the cats to be removed after getting reports from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA says the cats were not being cared for properly, causing them health problems and in some cases death.

Wednesday, 29 of the cats and the dog were returned to the sanctuary's owner, Elizabeth Owen, after Horry County's veterinarian examined them. Owen said they were her personal pets.

That licensed veterinarian then went on to evaluated the remaining 208 cats and determined that 107 of them had to be euthanized. According to Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier, the cats suffered from "multiple medical conditions which included the following: severe infestation of herpes and ringworm, anal maggots, severe gum disease and missing teeth, tumors/lesions, multiple abdominal abscesses, seizures, cracked/bloody pads on feet, etc."

Elizabeth Owen's lawyer, M. Greg McCollum, said his client is "extremely disappointed, very upset. Anybody that's had a pet that's cared for an animal would know this is distressing and sad to quote have to put an an animal down."

He also questioned the evaluation the cats received in a short time frame, "in an eight hour period 107 cats you would be able to spend about four minutes with each cat but really they had almost twice that many so I just question did the veterinarian spend two minutes with each cat and make these diagnosis."

Bourcier says the 101 remaining cats are being treated with antibiotics for conditions like runny noses and eyes, ulcers, hair loss, and being underweight. She says the cats are calm and are in clean, disinfected cages, and that they have plenty of food and are playing.

NewsChannel 15 will be allowed to tour the facility where the cats are being housed on Friday. For health reasons, the county didn't want to put the Sacred Vision cats alongside existing cats at the Horry County Animal Care Center. The Sacred Vision cats are being cared for at a holding facility in Socastee.

You can read our original story Sacred Vision here.