Deputies pull 47 cats out of stuffy SUV north of Minneapolis

When Chisago County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched June 14 to a truck stop an hour north of Minneapolis, they were told a vehicle was so full of cats its driver couldn’t see out of its windows. .

“We literally got there and were like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a lot going on here,'” captain Derek Anklan said. Coffee or Die Magazine.

First was the “overwhelming smell” emanating from the four-door SUV parked near the Harris County seat, Anklan said. Before the 95-degree afternoon was over, his deputies and the Minnesota State Police would remove 47 cats from the car.

They also learned that Kitty Krusader, an animal rescue group in the nearby town of Mora, had taken in 15 of the same driver’s cats during a Memorial Day visit to a Walmart in Cambridge.

Staff from the Minnesota State Police, Chisago County Sheriff’s Office and the Animal Humane Society work together to rescue 47 cats pulled from a vehicle June 14, 2022, near Harris. Photo courtesy of the Animal Humane Society.

The motorist was not a Chisago County resident, but deputies offered him a deal. If he voluntarily returned his cat cargo, they wouldn’t give him a ticket to Distracted driving or other minor charges, and he could go on his way.

“All things considered, there wasn’t a huge criminal element,” Anklan said. “We found the cats in a safe place, so we moved on.”

Anklan said coffee or die that at first only one cat seemed a bit dehydrated and the others seemed healthy. Their ages ranged from 12 years old to a kitten.

The driver “was right over his head, and there was a resource that could help him with that,” Anklan said. “He agreed it was probably time to hand them over to this agency.”

north of Minneapolis
Two of 47 cats rescued by the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office near Harris, Minnesota on June 14, 2022. Photo courtesy of Animal Humane Society.

The Society for the Protection of Animals in Coon Rapids investigators scrambled to Harris, where they were joined by an organizer from Kitty Krusaders.

Animal Humane Society spokeswoman Sarah Bhimani said coffee or die her non-profit organization wanted to ensure that every cat received ‘individualized care’, so staff members contacted Animal Rescue of Saint Francis of Assisi in Forest Lake and New leash rescue to Cannon Falls for assistance.

“They graciously said ‘yes,’ each taking a handful of cats,” Bhimani said.

Kitty Krusaders announced that eight of the 47 cats in need of ‘the most critical medical attention’ went to Saint Francis of Assisi, which was assisted by the South Shore Veterinary Hospital in Forest Lake.

According to the four rescue groups, the cats have been checked by veterinarians and are being cared for by staff and volunteers. The animals will be sterilized and put up for adoption by local cat lovers.

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