Aided by local police, the heroes from the Monterey County SPCA uncovered 113 dead kittens Tuesday while serving search warrants at two properties in sleepy Seaside, California. "It’s very disturbing,” SPCA humane investigation supervisor Judi Adams explained yesterday, noting that all the cats were “newborn, a day or a week old.” Although 51 adult cats were recovered safely, no kittens were found alive.
SPCA and Seaside Police searched the two nearby homes simultaneously after a property manager reported seeing dead kittens during an inspection. In a disturbing twist, the cat hoarder responsible had wrapped most of the dead kittens in towels and placed them in various boxes and containers around both properties. Authorities also found the professionally cremated remains of another 40 to 50 cats, labeled with their names and date of their death. SPCA medical examiners do not yet have a cause of death for the towel-wrapped kittens.
According to SPCA officials, the recovered cats "were living in extremely horrible conditions... They were separated into two groups and locked into rooms with little to no ventilation. The floors were saturated in urine and feces." Five of the surviving cats were pregnant and many were suffering from respiratory infections, parasites and dental problems. They were taken to the local shelter to get vaccinations, flea baths and de-worming medicine and are currently in a "comfortable" place with clean water and fresh food. Given some time to recover, we hope they will one day make great companions for someone who is not completely insane.
As one SPCA Sgt. told the Associated Press, "It definitely makes you go home and kind of hug your animals a little tighter at night."
The deplorable kitten killer has not been arrested or identified yet, but once the investigation is complete the case will be sent to the Monterey County DA who will decide whether to press charges of animal cruelty. In the meantime, donations to help shelter the recovered cats can be made at the Monterey County SPCA's website.