Autumn Ganza has been caring for generations of stray and feral cats that live at an abandoned South Side Chicago property near where she lives. Affectionately called “Castle Blackpaw,” she fed and TNR’d nearly two dozen kitties that lived here.
On Wednesday morning, she woke up to the news that the building was being torn down by crews from Delta Demolition – and she knew that some cats were still possibly trapped inside! Ganza had been notified that the building would be demolished sometime this week, and she had managed to trap most of the cats and rehome them, but there were still 6 to 8 cats still inside the building, which (by this time) was now half demolished.
Also, she told Chicagoist, she was promised a several-day cleanup, set to precede the knockdown, that never materialized, and a demolition notice was never posted—which left her with no way of knowing the teardown would start on Wednesday.
When Ganza saw what was happening, she got the crews to stop so she could go in and confirm the cats were inside, set some traps, and then – she said they just continued demolishing the building!
“It was the worst day of my life,” Ganza said.
Finally, Alderman Thompson directed crews to suspend demolition on Wednesday on parts of the property where cats might be located. The plan is to knock down the remainder of the property, in which the cats have hopefully been trapped, secured and removed, on Thursday morning. Tree House Humane Society will be on hand to hopefully catch any remaining cats on the property.
Ald. Thompson told Chicagoist that if Tree House is unable to locate cats on Thursday morning, further demolition could potentially be postponed, depending on the animal rescue workers’ advice. “They’re the experts,” he said.