DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Animal advocates in Davidson County say a homeless man has been driving around for the past two years with an SUV loaded with cats, many of which have died due to extreme cold or heat in the vehicle.
Officials say close to a dozen cats have died in the man’s car.
Animal advocates say they’ve spotted and rescued cats from his car twice in the past two years but say the man just goes out and gets more.
“He had 21 cats in his car,” said Gene Ingram, coordinator at the homeless shelter at Crisis Ministry of Davidson County.
Ingram said the man, who he doesn’t want to identify by name, was staying at the shelter in January 2014.
“He was sick, the cats were sick,” Ingram said.
Seventeen of the 21 cats were taken to a local vet hospital, but only 10 survived.
Since then, Ingram says he hasn’t seen the man or his SUV.
That was until this week.
“He’s out on the street again,” Ingram said.
The man, described as in his 50s and disabled driving a green vehicle, came back to the shelter with three cats in his vehicle.
One died from heat stroke, the other two were treated and taken away by the vet hospital.
“The cats were in pitiful shape,” said Becky Everhart, president of the Humane Society of Davidson County.
Both Ingram and Everhart say each time they try to offer help, the man refuses then disappears.
“Somewhere he’s out there with those poor cats and a hot car,” Everhart said.
Everhart says the humane society spent more than $500 helping treat the animals along with spay and neuter costs.
There’s no word as to how he gets the cats but animal advocates say he can’t care for them and are asking for the public to be more cautious as to who they adopt to.
“Please do not give any cats or kittens to this person,” Everhart said. “If he is willing to let you have one, please take it, and let us know.”
Officials say the man may be mentally ill and are trying to get him help.
Lexington Police Department, Davidson County’s animal control and animal shelter along with the Humane Society are all aware of situation.