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Where will dozens of cats go? Robeson woman doesn't know

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ST. PAULS, N.C. — Lessie Smith, 65, takes care of 40 cats and 20 kittens, some just two days old. She said the cats are her life, along with her house, which has flies and roaches, a leaky ceiling and a bedroom with no ceiling.

The town of St. Pauls plans to condemn Smith's house and tear it down because of what the town calls unlivable conditions. The town said it hopes to put a modular house in its place for Smith to live in, but her cats must find another home.

"The mission here today is to get these cats placed as fast as possible before the house comes down," Katherine Gable said Wednesday. Gable is a volunteer with the Robeson County Humane Society.

If the cats are not adopted, they could be put down.

"To be carried out there and put down, that doesn't make me happy," said Smith.

St. Pauls' Town Administrator Larry Di Re said that each individual could decide to sympathize with Smith or blame her for the predicament, but that it's not something that can stand.

"That's not a good situation for anyone or their animals," said Di Re.

Smith said that she's kept clean litter and air conditioning for the animals. She lost her husband a year ago and doesn't want to lose her cats, she said. However, she said wants them to find good homes.

For more information on adopting the cats, contact Gable at 910-261-8793



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