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81 sick cats found at Cicero home euthanized

Updated: June 29, 2011 2:12AM

An animal shelter euthanized all 81 cats found at a Cicero woman’s home because they were infected with feline leukemia virus, officials said.

Firefighters conducting a well-being check on June 20 found more than 50 cats at the woman’s home in the 1800 block of 57th Avenue, said Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania.

Overall, authorities have recovered 81 cats during the last couple of weeks, including six on Tuesday, officials said.

They were taken to the Animal Care League in Oak Park, Hanania said. But every cat tested positive for feline leukemia, a highly contagious disease among cats that cannot spread to humans. Doctors had the animals euthanized at the shelter.

Officials initially believed there were 12 dead cats in the woman’s yard, but determined only one of the dead animals was a feline, Hanania said. Officials said they are unsure of the identities of the other carcasses.

Hanania said authorities will continue to set traps on the woman’s property and expect to find a “few” more cats this week.

The woman, who is in her 70s, will not be cited and is currently staying with friends or relatives while her house is being cleaned by Cicero, Hanania said.

Michael Lansu

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