This is not kindness
One of the volunteers just returned from speaking with a woman who was featured in the papers for piling her items in the corridor, including her cats in cages. Various people including Jolanda, Lilian, the volunteer and I have all gone by to speak with her. She has cats and a very messy flat with lots of items all over the place. Jolanda and the volunteer offered to pay for the cats to be sterilised. The volunteer also donated cat food to her on the condition that she stop taking in cats and allow her cats out into the flat. Jolanda wired her doors and windows up so the cats could be let out of their cages.
However on bringing some of this woman's cats to be sterilised a week ago, the volunteer noticed that there were MORE cats. This had gone against the woman had promised. The volunteer went down to speak with her today and the woman could not be bothered. She had kittens in a dirty, encrusted cage and would not let the volunteer in to see how many other cats she had in the flat.
The volunteer asked to be allowed to take the kittens away and the woman refused.
At the end of the day, there isn't anything you CAN do with people like these except make a report about them after all the talking and persuading has failed. They do not see themselves as being cruel - they see themselves as saving the cats. Often they think they are the only ones who can care for the cats and that no one else will do as good a job as they can. If their cats have to be taken out, many are in terrible shape. They blame others if any of these cats should subsequently die or be euthanised because of their condition.
Removing the cats also generally means that they'll just go and pick up new cats or someone will give them new cats. It amazes me how many people continue to pick up and give cats to people who are clearly unsuitable to looking after cats. Some people think any home is better than no home even if the cat should die inside. To them, it's better than life on the street even if that home should be a tiny cage where the cat sits sick and miserable in its defecation and urine.
Yet these people will go around asking for money - they'll tell you their cats will die without it, they'll tell you they saw this one more sick kitten and they couldn't walk away, they'll tell you that pest control was coming and what could they do? Many good hearted people will give because they don't want to see the cats suffer. Don't become an enabler - in the majority of the cases, it will not help the cats because with more money, food or resources, they'll just go out and bring in MORE cats or allow their cats to breed unchecked.
Of course some people may be in over their heads and have started out with genuinely good intentions and now have too many cats - these people put the cats' welfare first. They're happy for offers to get their cats adopted out, they realise they have too many cats and most importantly, they have stopped picking cats up off the street and are actively trying to reduce the number. For some people, it is possible to help out by helping them to get the situation under control in terms of sponsoring cat sterilisation or helping with treatment and even helping them to adopt the cats out.
For the people who have taken in 60 cats stressed out and losing their hair; for the 40 cats living in wall to wall defecation because there is only one sand tray in the flat; for the multiple cats stuck in cages and still taking in more; for the 200 cats in a flat with health problems and counting - this is not kindness. And it is not kindness to help them out either.