PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of felines are now safe after being discovered in a condemned home in Pascagoula.
After the elderly pet owners were hospitalized, the animals were left to fend for themselves. In just two days, 68 cats were rescued from the condemned trailer off of Orchard Road.
"I have never seen anything like that before. I've seen some bad stuff some pictures, but to view it for myself, it was terrible," said Jackson County Animal Shelter adoption coordinator Maridee Mallette.
So terrible, that animal control officers had to dress in hazmat suits with respirators to enter the trailer.
"There was urine and feces through out the house, so you had to suit up to go inside," Mallette said.
Emergency crews spent more than three hours rescuing cats on Tuesday, and around two hours on Wednesday. Once they were out of the trailer, the cats were loaded into van and taken to a temporary home at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.
"We're already slammed full here in the shelter, so we had this one room," Mallette said.
For now the cats will remain quarantined in a room at the Jackson County animal shelter. A vet will begin health assessments on Thursday to determine whether or not they're healthy,
"Some of them are skinny, going to check them out. Hopefully the Humane Society of South Mississippi is going to help us," Mallette said.
But beyond the living conditions, the number of cats troubles the adoption coordinator.
"You can tell they're all kin," Mallette added. "They started with four cats, and these four cats bred and bred and bred and had babies and babies," Mallette said.
Mallette says it's a stark reminder to spay and neuter pets.
It'll likely take a week before the animals can go up for adoption. In the meantime - the shelter is in need of supplies.