Neglect of 50+ cats: Kitten found in freezer; 5" of poop and fur on floor

Dozens of cats were removed from a home on Lower Donnally Road in Kanawha City in Charleston in what authorities are calling an emergency animal seizure.

Humane officers say many of the cats are desperately in need of treatment.

Eyewitness News was told it is a case of animal neglect – not abuse – and the cats inside the house do not appear to be underfed or injured. But humane officials said the cats are in need of medical treatment. Conditions inside the home also were a concern. Humane officials said there was a deceased kitten was found in the freezer and there is feces and fur about 5 inches deep in places throughout the home.

In seizures like this, there would usually be an on-site evaluation of the cats, but humane officers said due to the stress of the animals, they will go straight to the clinic to begin treatment.

The Kanawha Charleston Humane Association received an injunction from the City Attorney’s Office allowing it to begin seizing these animals today. Charleston police and firefighters also were at the scene.

City Attorney Paul Ellis said these feral cats were living in is a public safety hazard. The city has received complaints from neighbors — about the smell of ammonia coming from this home.

Jessi Shafer with the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association said they are expecting many of these cats to have respiratory infections. The goal is to get them treated right away. And she says there is no criminal investigation — no malicious intent suspected. She said the homeowner willingly went to the hospital for a medical evaluation.

“Whether or not there was malicious intent involved here, dozens of cats are being neglected and it is our responsibility at KCHA to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Shafer said.

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