Facing Eviction, Cat Hoarder Teams With Stillwell Ave. Petco To Find Homes For Cats

After years of refusing to get rid of most of her 45 cats, a Brighton Beach woman bowed to the threat of eviction and has teamed up with Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella and a local Petco to find friendly homes for the felines.

Twenty cats from the fur-filled apartment of Brighton Beach resident Barbara Berger are up for adoption at Petco’s 2601 Stillwell Avenue location until this Sunday, March 11, leaving 25 more – a mix of strays and adoptions – still in Berger’s care.

It has been a long process with Barbara, according to Josephine Marrero of Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella, who has helped Berger initiate the adoption. Berger has refused on many occasions to put her 45 cats in others’ care, but this time her landlord stepped in and wants her out if she doesn’t reduce her purring pals down to just two.

“Hoarders go into panic, but she is calming down a lot with me,” said Marrero.

Marrero said that communicating with Berger and trying to convince her to place her cats up for adoption was the hardest part.

“She didn’t want to give them away because she believed she was taking good care of them,” said Marrero.

But in reality, the slender frames of most of Berger’s cats, along with the dirt and filth that covered their coats, was enough evidence for even an onlooker.

“When I asked her how long she had been collecting the cats Barbara said it was for the seven years she had lived in her current apartment,” said Marrero.

Most of Berger’s cats are healthy enough for the casual adopter, but some will need an owner looking to give a little extra attention. From black and white to the common grey cat, it’s an assortment of felines with an equally diverse assortment of health issues.

From bandaged paws to some tiny missing eyes, the circumstances these animals endured are extremely evident.

Beginning today, Petco, along with Marrero have set out to have these animals adopted as soon as possible.

“We want to remind people that these animals have seen a vet, and have been neutered, and have all of their shots,” said Marrero.

If Berger refuses to release any of the remaining 23 cats to Marrero, she could face eviction in the next 30 to 60 days, according to Brooklyn Daily, which first reported on Berger’s situation. This decision will be made on Wednesday, March 14, when Berger is expected back in court.

For more information, or to adopt one of Barbara Berger’s cats, contact Josephine Marrero at