***WARNING: These photos may be disturbing to some.***
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Animal Rescue League is caring for dozens of cats and kittens that were rescued from a one-bedroom apartment Tuesday.
According to the ARL, when Animal Control officers arrived they found cats and kittens everywhere. They say the owner had thrown some of the cats outside of a window before they arrived.
In total, 26 cats and kittens, were taken from the residence. The ARL says more than half of the rescued cats are under five months old. Many are suffering from untreated medical conditions and one cat’s infected eye had been left untreated for so long the eye ruptured.
"They were all soaking in urine, in dire need of medical care. They all had flea issues, ear mites, there was a couple of eye issues as well. One of them was so severe that the eye will probably have to be removed, but that particular cat is unable to even be treated for that at this point," Director of Animal Control Services Joe Stafford said.
Stafford said the conditions these cats and kittens were found in was horrific.
“These poor cats deserve better than the home they were in and I am so grateful the ARL was there just in time to rescue the cats that were thrown outside. This could have ended horribly had the ARL not been there to help these cats who were cast outside,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Stafford said there is a possibility this could be an animal hoarding issue, but they are still investigating.
"People sometimes believe that they are trying to help and those cats begin to breed because they’re not spayed or neutered and very quickly the owner can become overwhelmed. And when that happens, often times they don’t reach out for help which we are more than capable and happy to provide to the community," Stafford said.
The investigation into the case is ongoing and the ARL is working with authorities on possible charges the owner may face.