Following a house fire Thursday in Commerce Township, the Oakland County Animal Control Division is conducting an animal neglect and abuse investigation.
In all, 38 cats were rescued by animal control officers and Commerce Township firefighters after the house fire on Winewood Lane. Five deceased cats were also found at the scene.
According to a press release, the Commerce Township Fire Department requested assistance from Oakland County Animal Control officers about 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 at the house fire after firefighters observed many cats roaming around the property. When animal control officers arrived at the home, they observed the cats living in concerning conditions that were unrelated to the fire.
The surviving cats are under veterinary evaluation and treatment at the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center in Pontiac. The shelter sent the remains of the deceased cats to Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine for necropsies to determine the cause of death.
The case remains an open investigation. Once concluded, the facts of the case will be turned over to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether there will be any charges.