71 cats rescued from 'horrific' conditions, have respiratory problems, parasites

ELECTRIC CITY, Wash. -- Animal care workers donned full Hazmat gear and respirators in order to rescue 71 adult and juvenile cats found living in filth in a small Eastern Washington home.

"The conditions were just horrific," said Laura Henderson, with Pasado's Save Haven, a non-profit aimed at ending animal cruelty.

The cats were rescued Monday. The animals were found living in deplorable condition, the group reports, surrounded by their own feces, swarms of flies and layers of garbage.

"We discovered a couple of the kittens under piles of garbage," said Henderson. "So when you’re walking through the garbage, you’re wading through it, and you have to step very carefully."

The ammonia levels in the residence were exceptionally high, rescue workers said, and most of the cats have chronic upper respiratory infections, along with internal and external parasites. Their rehabilitation will last weeks, to months, in some cases.

At least three pregnant females were found in the home, as well as multiple litters of kittens.

It is not yet known if the owner of the animals will face animal cruelty charges, rescue crews said.

If you are interested in adopting one of the cats, or want to donate to help with their care, click here.