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Friends: Rescue hoarding may have led to poor living conditions

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A total of 93 animals were seized by Wake County Animal Control from the home of Carol De'Olloqui. A total of 93 animals were seized by Wake County Animal Control from the home of Carol De'Olloqui.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Rescue organizations are scrambling to find homes for nearly three dozen cats rescued from the Raleigh home of a woman who was once the head of an animal rescue group.

On Friday, a total of 93 animals were seized by Wake County Animal Control from the home of Carol De'Olloqui, who is the most recent president of the animal rescue group Calvin's Paws.

Wake County Animal Shelter director Jennifer Federico said 30 cats and three dogs were placed with three rescues. The other 60 cats had to be euthanized because they emaciated.

Many of the cats, Federico said, were sick, some with probably infectious diseases.

With animal shelters overcrowded, Calvin's Paws board member Lynn Barclay said De'Olloqui was probably trying to save cats from euthanasia. She said De'Olloqui was troubled with a statistic that more than 8,000 cats are euthanized in Wake County every year.

"People who rescue cats do everything in their power to save just one more cat, and maybe this is what's happened with Carol," Barclay said.

The Humane Society said rescue hoarding is becoming more common as rescue groups or volunteers try to save animals from being put down.

Barclay said the group knew De'Olloqui had a lot of cats and Calvin's Paws was working with her to try and reduce the number of animals in her home.

Still, she said she was stunned to learn how bad thing were in the home of their outgoing president. Neighbor Dan Tkaczuk described the smell coming from the home as "overwhelming."

"The way they discovered that was the odor was just so overwhelming," Tkaczuk said. "Everybody was completely taken back. ... No one expected or even had any idea of anything like that."

Of the 30 cats that survived, the SPCA of Wake County is holding 14 that may become ready for adoption in a few days. Sixteen other have been spread among three rescue groups.

De'Olloqui was arrested Friday night at a residence on Webster Street in Cary and charged with three counts of misdemeanor animal abuse.

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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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