The Dubuque Regional Humane Society assisted in rescuing more than 100 cats and kittens found living in “deplorable conditions” in a residence in Warren, Ill., the organization announced Friday.
Humane society staffers helped recover 67 cats from the home last week, according to a press release. More than 100 cats in total were found living in the home, though some escaped during the removal process.
Humane society officials declined to divulge specific information about the location of the residence, citing the potential for a law enforcement investigation. The DRHS contracts with Jo Daviess County Animal Control and was called in to assist after the department received a citizen complaint.
Attempts to reach Jo Daviess County Animal Control to provide comment for this story were unsuccessful.
Briana Eickhoff, director of operations for the Dubuque Regional Humane Society, said the home’s interior was filled with feces and urine. The air quality was so poor that staff only were allowed to enter the premises with protective suits and masks equipped.
“Everything was just dirty,” Eickhoff said. “The cats were just allowed to defecate everywhere.”
Eickhoff said she and animal shelter staff found far more cats than initially anticipated. While many of the animals approached staffers willingly, others hid under beds, porches and furniture.
“Just when we thought we found all of them, we’d uncover even more,” Eickhoff said. “There were seven or eight hiding in a recliner chair.”
No attempts have been made yet to recover the cats that escaped. Eickhoff said live trapping could put the cats in danger due to recent cold temperatures.
She said the final decision on what to do with the stray cats will be up to Jo Daviess County Animal Control officials.
Several of the cats had upper respiratory or eye infections. While none of them showed signs of being starved, it was clear that their medical needs were not being met, Eickhoff said.
Eickhoff said she hopes to have most of the recovered cats ready for adoption within the next few weeks. She said some of the cats are pregnant, and they will need to give birth before they can be adopted.
Warren Police Chief Bryan Bohnsack said he was unaware of the incident. Sgt. Tina Brandel, of the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, also said she was not aware of any county law enforcement investigation into the case.