HARRIS, Minn. — Forty-seven cats were rescued from a vehicle that was parked in sweltering heat at a southeastern Minnesota rest area, authorities said Wednesday.
The cats discovered Tuesday were living in the car with their owner who recently became homeless and didn’t want to leave the animals behind, according to Animal Humane Society investigator Ashley Pudas.
“Unfortunately, with the heat yesterday he recognized that it was above and beyond what he was capable of at this time. And he let us help them out,” she said, noting that the owner had not left the cats alone.
The owner had been living with cats in the vehicle “for some time,” the Animal Humane Society said. Despite the heat and unsanitary conditions, most of the cats had only minor medical issues.
The rest stop was on Interstate 35 near Harris, about 50 miles north of Minneapolis. Temperatures in the area climbed over 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday.
The cats range in age from less than a year to more than 12 years old. They will eventually be sterilized and made available for adoption, authorities said.
The owner had previously given up 14 of the cats that had been living in the car. They were taken by a local rescue organization.