DES MOINES, Iowa- Crews continue to pull cats out of a home on Des Moines' west side. So far, crews have caught 36-cats, mostly kittens, but the Animal Rescue League says more are hiding in a crawl space.
The ARL says the conditions in the home were very bad, there's a strong ammonia odor, no air conditioning, clouds of fleas, cockroaches throughout, and piles of garbage and cat feces throughout the house.
“It was bad for the ARL rescuers, but so much worse for the cats,” said Colvin. “The majority of the 36 rescued so far are kittens. All have severe upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, ear mites, and eyes that were crusted shut. They were all infested with fleas and many were severely underweight, with several suffering from anemia. But, one look at one of the smallest made our hearts sink. A 6 week-old kitten, who we named Baby, was severely anemic and so underweight he didn’t even weigh a pound. The fleas had literally sucked the life out of him and by the time help arrived, it was still too late. Despite our Miracle Medical Team’s best efforts to save him, there was nothing else we could do. Sadly, Baby died from severe blood loss due to flea infestation within hours of his rescue.”
The ARL says another kitten had an untreated wound on her leg that was full of living maggots. She was also anemic and severely dehydrated.
Seventy-year-old Paula Schaefer is facing Animal Neglect charges.
The ARL is seeking the public’s help with donations of dry cat food as well as monetary donations to help with their medical care. Donations can be made online or by mail/in-person (5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313)