Former sanctuary cats find new homes

"Many of them are healthy many of them are very adoptable and I hope someone will come out and adopt them, give them a good home because they deserve it after what they've been through," said Sherry Cromer.

Cromer is one of a handful of people who are taking one of these cats home Friday afternoon.

Horry County officials say those eligible for adoption have been examined by a veterinarian, received antibiotic therapy, and a rabies vaccine.

Earlier this month more than 200 cats were taken from Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary after an undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Horry County euthanized 107 cats for medical reasons and now those remaining have been cleared for adoption with the cooperation of Elizabeth Owen, the sanctuary's owner.

Owen's attorney, M. Gregory McCollum, says his client was in the process of adopting these cats out before the county stepped in, "just because the county seized the cats and took them from her doesn't change her position as far as trying to care for them and make sure they are able to be placed in a home where they're happy."

Just the sheer number of cats involved in this case led many to label Owen as a hoarder.

It's a title her attorney and those adopting cats today disagree with.

"I think that she's been unfairly categorized as some type of cat hoarder when all that she was doing was rescuing animals and trying to give them a safe home," added McCollum.

Despite intentions, this situation is reflective of a larger community issue of stray animals.

"There is a big problem especially in this area with unwanted cats and everyone needs to at least get their own animals spayed and neutered," added Cromer.

For medical reasons three additional cats from the sanctuary were euthanized by the county.

As for Elizabeth Owen, she still has a pending criminal case that will be held in magistrate court.

If you want take one of the cats home you can stop by the holding facility at 200 River Road, that's behind Socastee high school, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday.

It costs $25 per cat.