Lifestyle & Human Interest

142 Cats Rescued from Single Property So Full of Refuse and Feces They Could Barely Breathe


It’s always sad when a person has the best intentions but doesn’t execute a plan well, especially when it comes to caring for animals.

Plenty of people who end up hoarders didn’t start out that way — they get overwhelmed and soon their desire to care for critters is far greater than their means.

In many hoarding cases, it is not uncommon to find homes destroyed by feces and urine, with animals in poor shape. In the more dire cases, sometimes dead animals will be discovered.

But this case is one of the most extreme, with a staggering body count and revolting conditions. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa posted about the appalling case on Facebook on June 4.

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“This is by far the worst hoarding case ARL Iowa has seen in more than 10 years,” the CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Tom Colvin, said, according to the post.

“It’s absolutely horrendous,” he continued. “I don’t even have the words to describe how bad this is. We were already over capacity prior to this rescue with more than 1,100 cats in our care, so we are going to need a lot of help from the public with this one.”

The rescue team had to spend the entire day removing cats of all ages from a residence in Central Iowa.

Multiple buildings on the property were loaded with filth and cats.

“Cats are still being captured tonight and there have already been nearly 100 living cats rescued and nearly 200 more cats recovered that were already deceased,” the ARL post continued.

“Dozens of cats were pressed up against open windows, trying to get fresh air. Air quality levels inside the house are so toxic that ARL rescuers are required to wear respirators and protective suits and are only allowed in the house for 30 minutes at a time.

“Inside, multiple feet of feces and garbage covered every square inch of the home, including kitchen counters.”

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Not only was the squalor barely comprehensible, the ARL reported that the refrigerators and freezers were full of deceased felines.

The count as of June 7 was 142 living cats and kittens and 194 dead.

The rescue, stretched to breaking, is accepting donations and also has an Amazon wishlist that people can help out with.

The owner has been identified as a 65-year-old man, and he is being charged with five counts of animal neglect and three counts of failure to dispose of a dead animal, according to KSFY-TV.

These animals may have had a rough life trapped in their own filth, but 142 of them now have a new lease on life thanks to dedicated rescuers and their generous supporters.

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