NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An adoption marathon for cats is under way at a Petco store on Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn where Josephine Marrero of Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella is attempting to find dozens of furry friends new homes.

The cats once belonged to Barbara Berger of Brighton Beach, who lived with 45 cats in her apartment. When her landlord told her that she had to decide between keeping the cats or getting evicted, Berger had to come to grips with the situation and let some of her animals go.

Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella will be at the back of the Petco until Sunday with the price of adopting a cat just $50.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

Around half of the 45 cats that were in Berger’s apartment have been removed, but only five of the cats have been adopted so far. The cats have bandaged paws and some are missing eyes, which poses a challenge for Marrero.

“A lot of them also had diet issues, so we had to stabilize their stomachs,” Marrero said.

Despite their health issues, Marrero can’t speak highly enough of the lovable little pets.

“Amy is adorable,” Marrero said. “She’s missing an eye, but she’s fabulous. They all have great personalities.”

Berger’s former cats are certainly having a powerful impression on some onlookers.

“When I see all these cats, I wish I could take them all,” one man considering adoption said.

Marrero plans to stay with the cats for as long as it takes and until each and every one of them finds a home.

Would you adopt a cat that belonged to Barbara Berger? Sound off with your comments below…

Comments (14)
  1. Maria says:

    I’d love to adopt one! How can i do that?

    1. Andrew Kent says:

      @Maria, email Josie Marrero at with your contact information, and she’ll set up a time for you to come down and see the cats. She also has other cats not yet at Petco, so tell her what your preferences are (age, gender, color, etc.) and she’ll try to match you with the purrfect pet. All the cats up for adoption have been spayed/neutered, medically evaluated, and have had their shots, and they will be as happy to meet you as you are to meet them. Thanks for caring and for offering one of these adorable felines a home.

  2. Pitbulls Should Be Banned says:


  3. Kitty Katt says:

    I wish I could adopt some, but I dont have the space for them, I had to rehome 2 of my cats when I lost my place of residents…I love cats. I wish them all the best.

  4. elle says:

    See my comment above. It applies to you as well. I suggest entering adulthood, Biness Man. Good grief.

  5. NYCsewer says:

    Cats are like Mexicans to many

    1. elle says:

      What a terrible, racist thing to say. This contributes nothing to dialogue about the plight of these poor cats, but speaks volumes about your lack of character or education.

  6. Mikey says:

    Euthanize them and do nature and humankind a favor…

  7. t says:

    they should give them away for free they have no right to sell them

    1. kat says:

      So t, I am assuming that YOU are willing to foot the bill for all these cats- and then let them go somewhere-anywhere for free so the same thing can happen all over again- people tend to value that they pay for – fight rings gather free animals and use them for bait- bunchers get them and sell to labs- but a legit rescue isn’t allowed to try and re-coup a fraction of their cost??

      1. Fred says:

        So is that why shelters make people go through a background check and jump through magical, humiliating hoops before parting with one of the animals?

        Nobody wants to be treated like a criminal when trying to adopt a pet that needs a home. Next time I’m in the market for a dog I’m going to a reputable breeder instead of trying to adopt a dog. Shelters in the NYC area have definite control issues.

        1. Andrew Kent says:

          Private no-kill shelters and rescue organizations don’t have the luxury of euthanizing their “excess” animals like the City’s AC&C, so they want to make sure that the cats they rescue, from AC&C, abusive and neglectful situations, and the street find loving, suitable homes so that they don’t suffer the same fate yet again. Background checks and adoption fees are just two ways, albeit not foolproof ones, to separate impulse adopters and those with ulterior motives from those who sincerely want to give a pet a better life.

          Barbara, the alleged “hoarder” in this story, began as an animal rescuer but became overwhelmed when she could not find adoptive homes for the cats she had rescued and kept them rather than turn them over to AC&C where many might have been euthanized due to their age or physical condition or simply for administrative convenience. In fact, one cat that Barbara rescued from AC&C’s death row some fifteen years ago would again face the executioner’s needle, because of its age, were it to return to AC&C as a result of Barbara being evicted for having rescued too many other cats.

          Josie Marrero and her crew at Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella and Petco are angels of mercy who have come to Barbara’s and her cats’ aid at the eleventh hour. If just a fraction of the readers, listeners, and viewers who have been following this story can find it in their hearts to adopt one of these adorable felines or otherwise help support this rescue effort, then Barbara’s and her cats’ crisis can be resolved.

          For more information on how you can help or to adopt a cat, please email Josie at

        2. Lore says:

          I don’t know- I’ve been involved with the adoption process on both sides, and at least the groups I deal with, I haven’t seen any sort of “humiliating hoops”…

          Some rescues are stricter than others, but aren’t for everyone. However, a reputable breeder is a good alternative, and I applaud you for that, but real reputable breeders have wait lists, and their process of picking owners for their liters can make a rescue’s requirements seem lax.

          Otherwise it’s easy for backyard breeders to seem legit these days… Win a few low level in hand classes to make it seem their dogs are the optimal dogs, and breed a dog into the ground to make sure they have puppies for everyone who contacts them… if you can just call up and buy a dog, chances are they’re not a reputable breeder.

  8. I would get the cat with one eye and call her cyclops!

    “you’re the one eye, one I love!”

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