About 200 cats living in “appalling conditions” were rescued from a Killeen, Texas home Friday morning, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Cats lived in aquariums, used moldy litter boxes and had serious eye infections in the “large-scale case of alleged neglect,” according to the Humane Society.
Authorities served search and seizure warrants about 7 a.m. at the 1,800-square-foot residential home, according to KSAT.
A video published by the Humane Society shows meowing cats, many of which appear to have visible eye infections. Rescuers took the cats out of aquariums, from under a piano and out of rows of cages.
The Humane Society wrote on Facebook that it “already rushed over more than a dozen cats and kittens to the vet as they’re described to be in critical condition.”
“It is heartbreaking to see hundreds of gentle cats and kittens suffering in poor conditions,” Nikki Prather, Texas state director for the Humane Society of the United States, told KCEN. “We are thankful to the city of Killeen for answering the call to help these animals.”
Officials said resident complaints about the home led to the rescue operation, which revealed animals didn’t have enough clean water and litter boxes were overflowing, KWTX reported.
Spark of Life Kitten Foster and Rescue said in a Facebook post that it was issued the search warrant.
“We do not believe in throwing kittens in trash cans and it is illegal to bury pets in the city limits,” the group said on Facebook. “While we admit to being overcrowded, we have never intentionally put an animal in harm’s way.”
The cats are being taken to a temporary shelter for care and veterinary treatment, according to KTBC.
“We hope these animals will be adopted into loving homes once their immediate needs are addressed,” Killeen Animal Services Manager Tammy Roberts told KTBC. “The property owners have been cooperative. We often see in similar situations that it appears those responsible for the care of a high quantity of animals become overwhelmed.”