COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - More than 40 cats and three dogs -- some injured or ill -- have been seized from "deplorable" conditions in a Colorado Springs home that authorities have condemned.
"The conditions of the house were deplorable. Furniture was piled up, feces and urine staining were widespread, and the ammonia levels were 20 to 50 times higher than deemed safe," according to a news release from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.
The owner of the cats and dogs, Debra Minor, has been charged with cruelty to animals, the Humane Society said.
After spending weeks gathering evidence, Humane Society law enforcement officers executed a warrant authorizing them to remove the cats and dogs from the home.
Ten staff members, including seven officers and a veterinarian, spent four hours inside the house in central Colorado Springs rescuing the ailing pets.
"The cats had sought shelter in all corners throughout the three levels of the home. Some of the cats were caught inside the walls, requiring significant rescue efforts," the Humane Society said.
Of the three dogs rescued, a Chihuahua had a fractured thighbone that had not been treated and that had healed improperly, the Humane Society said. Veterinarians are assessing the best course of treatment for the dog.
The cats were brought back to the Humane Society and given immediate medical attention. Many of the cats were treated for upper respiratory infections, and many have additional medical problems, including severe dental disease, officials said. All of the cats also underwent testing for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Twelve of the cats are available for adoption. Many of the other cats, as well as the three dogs, are still undergoing medical treatment.
The cost to the Humane Society for providing necessary care and preparing the animals for adoption is estimated at $9,800. To find out more about how to help, visit www.hsppr.org/hoarding.
See video below Humane Society investigators rescuing pets. Mobile users, click here: http://ch7ne.ws/1d8L31M