Local shelter assists Springfield woman overwhelmed with 80 Bengal cats


    Debra Perryman bought two Bengal cats in 2013 to breed for some extra money, but now Animal Control says that's turned into a big problem, Sept. 27, 2018. (Photo courtesy City of Sprigfield)

    SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Springfield Animal Control says a 67-year-old Springfield woman has grown overwhelmed with cats, so we spoke to police and one of the local shelters ready to take in some of the animals.

    Debra Perryman bought two Bengal cats in 2013 to breed for some extra money, but now Animal Control says that's turned into a big problem.

    Animal Control says these 80 Bengal cats have completely taken over the 850-square foot home.

    But the owner is working with police to find them forever homes.

    "The reality is she can spend just about every waking hour of the day feeding and cleaning and doing everything--and I don't know the sheer number--I don't know if she would be able to keep up with it at this point," said Brian Austin with Animal Control.

    Austin tells us she has cooperated, but having that many cats is hard for both owner and animal. He says Perryman goes through more than 50 pounds of food every couple of days.

    "The Bengal is a very special breed of cat and not a very easy cat to have in your house, so having 80 cats in one home is pretty severe," said Megan Brezovar with Greenhill Humane Society.

    Bengal cats have very high energy so owners need to give them a lot of attention and exercise.

    "In this situation, she actually does have a pretty good knowledge of the Bengal cat in general and of cats," Austin added, "unfortunately, she got to a point where she wasn't comfortable reaching out and asking for help."

    Animal Control is working with local animal shelters like Greenhill Humane Society to spay and neuter the animals before vetting potential adopters.

    "Figuring out what's going to be best to support all of the cats to make sure that they get safe and caring homes and get all the medical care that they need," Brezovar added.

    Animal Control says they're looking to relocate most of the cats to new homes making it more manageable for Perryman and her pets.

    If you're interested in adopting, email Christopher Solares, Community Outreach Coordinator for City of Springfield at: Csolares@springfield-or.Gov

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