BRADENTON, Fla. — For weeks, Manatee County Animal Welfare officers have been entering a home in Bradenton to remove dozens of cats.
Sheriff's deputies initially entered the home during a welfare check in July and found the 80-year-old owner deceased. Investigators believe she died of natural causes.
However, they say the home was overrun with cats living in deplorable conditions.
"I’ve never seen anything this bad. Every object in the home is covered in feces," said Macaline Bedford an animal welfare officer. "The ammonia levels were read to be at 32 parts per million, a safe level would be 5 parts per million."
So far, officers have removed more than 50 cats from the home but they fear there are dozens still inside.
"They’re living in walls, the ceiling. They hide from us the moment they step into the home. That’s why we have traps set, to try and get as many out as we can," said Bedford.
The rescued cats have been taken to Manatee County Animal Welfare where they are being treated.
"They had a lot of upper respiratory, eye infections, and parasites," said Hans Wohlgefahrt, with Manatee County Animal Welfare.
Right now, the county is they’re looking for people who are willing to help foster the cats while they recover and prepare for adoption.
"This has been a really difficult time for us to have so many cats come in at once, in addition to every cage in the shelter being full with an animal right now," said Wohlgefahrt.
For more information on how to help visit the county's website by clicking here.