100 Cats Relocating To Massachusetts From Kentucky After Tornado


Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be taking in 100 cats from Kentucky on the morning of Wednesday, December 15, 2021, to make room for animals displaced following Friday’s deadly tornado.

MSPCA, in collaboration with the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, will be helping evacuate 100 cats from the Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville. The cats were already at the shelter before the tornado and are now being relocated to make room for the expected surge of displaced pets.

“As soon as I heard the news on Saturday morning about the tornado, the first call I made was to our partners and said, ‘we are available to help,’” Mike Keiley, Director of Adoption Centers and Programs at the MSPCA, said. “We can take a full plane of cats, knowing that would probably be really meaningful in terms of size and species, and we started coordinating immediately after that.”

According to the MSPCA, the charter plane carrying the cats is expected to fly out at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday and land at the New Bedford Regional Airport. The cats will then be driven to NEAS in Salem, where they will stay until they are able to be adopted.

“It’s really rewarding to be able to help our colleagues in animal welfare because it’s so devastating on the ground when these situations happen, especially with such a massive tornado that traveled for such distance,” Keiley said. “There’s going to be so many people and animals that are impacted and the depth of that impact probably hasn’t even been fully realized yet.”

According to Keiley, the cats may be available for adoption as soon as the weekend or the start of next week. The cats must go through a mandatory 48-hour quarantine and be medically and behaviorally assessed.

Early next week, the MSPCA and NEAS plan to have an adoption special for the cats. In the meantime, the cats will be housed in MSPCA and NEAS facilities, even using some spaces traditionally used for dogs, Keiley said.

“Our hope is to get them quickly settled,” Keiley said. “Get them quickly into homes so they can be home for the holidays and have a wonderful place to be rather than all the stress that they’re enduring right now.”