Another 130 dead cats were found in freezers at a Vanderhoof property where the alleged hoarders had lived earlier
The B.C. SPCA has seized 120 neglected cats and three Chihuahuas from “filthy and unsafe conditions” in a trailer in Fort St. James.
“The animals, many of whom were emaciated and suffering from upper respiratory infections, extreme flea infestations, urine scald, eye infections, dental issues, ear mites and wounds” are being cared for at several shelters, said Eileen Drever of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The people who lived in the Fort St. James trailer had also lived in Vanderhoof and SPCA officers found 130 dead cats in freezers behind that residence, the society said.
“Any time we are dealing with situations of animal hoarding, it is devastating for both the animals and the people,” said Drever in a news release. “We are just so glad that we were called in time to rescue the remaining animals.”
Drever described the conditions in the Fort St. James trailer. “The entryway and hallway to the bedrooms were covered in layers of feces, and the entire trailer was very hot and filled with an overwhelming ammonia smell due to the buildup of urine,” said Drever.
“The majority of the cats were hiding in kitchen cupboards, under the fridge and under furniture in the sparsely decorated trailer. No water was present for any of the animals. Some dry cat food had been scattered on the floor, but the food was contaminated with urine and feces.”
The cats were very hungry and rushed up to the officer when food was offered. But many were having difficulty breathing, a common problem with animals caught in hoarding situations.
Three Chihuahuas were also brought into care that are being treated for dental disease, hair loss and grooming issues, said Drever.
Drever said SPCA animal protection officers have dealt with many large-scale hoarding cases in recent months, putting a strain on resources in already busy shelters.
Anyone who can help out with a donation to offset the cost of the animals’ care is asked to visit spca.bc.ca/news.