Judge orders 300 cats be moved from shelter to emergency care

Judge Bradley Mayers hears from the Horry County Solicitor's Office and from representatives of the Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary.

MYRTLE BEACH (WACH, WPDE, AP) -- An Horry County judge signed a temporary order to remove hundreds of cats from a Grand Strand animal shelter.

Magistrate Bradley Mayers ruled that the 300 cats living in cages at the Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary be placed under emergency care in a temporary shelter.

The Horry County Solicitor asked for the cats removal after getting reports from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA says the cats were not being cared for properly, causing them health problems and in some cases death.

Judge Mayers says the state has the care and means to take custody of animals and because of media coverage, these cats will be adopted. But they can not be adopted until the case goes to trial.

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Elizabeth Owen runs the sanctuary. She says 30 of the cats are her personal pets. She also owns a dog.

Judge Mayers says once those animals are checked by a veterinarian, she will be able to get them back.

Owen was charged with improper care and treatment of animals in September. Her attorney says PETA's abuse allegations have no merit.

(WPDE, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)