IOWA -- The Animal Rescue League of Iowa removed hundreds of living and dead cats from multiple buildings at a central Iowa residence Tuesday, according to a post on the organization's Facebook.
Nearly 100 living cats and nearly 200 dead cats were recovered. Cats are still being rescued from the residence.
The ARL said they observed dozens of cats pressed up against open windows, trying to get fresh air. Air quality levels were so toxic inside the house that rescuers were required to wear respirators and protective suits and only remain in the house for 30 minutes at a time.
According to the ARL, multiple feet of feces and garbage covered every square inch of the home, including kitchen counters. They said dead cats filled refrigerators and freezers, sitting alongside the owner’s food.
“This is by far the worst hoarding case ARL Iowa has seen in more than 10 years. It’s absolutely horrendous. I don’t even have the words to describe how bad this is.” said ARL CEO Tom Colvin. “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 ARL has not yet released the address of the residence but said more information will be released Wednesday.
Donations to help the cats can be made here.