70 cats found inside Irmo home - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

70 cats found inside Irmo home

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(Source: Carolyn Callahan) (Source: Carolyn Callahan)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

From the outside, things look normal.

"We see a lot of bad situations," said Holly Wagner with the Richland County Sheriff's Department. "This is the worst hoarding case I've seen."

Inside, investigators say they found dozens of cats and two women, living in filth.

"It's a form of neglect, it's a form of hoarding, but it's also a form of animal cruelty to have 70 cats living in a house where you can't breathe the air," Wagner said.

The house reportedly a mess, filled with cats, and an ammonia level deemed by firefighters, not safe for long term exposure.

"They're ladies with good hearts and they brought a few cats in from, ya know, that didn't have homes, because they wanted to give them homes, and it just got out of control," Wagner said.

The women living in the house, decided to stay. The cats are in custody of Animal Control, except for a few, they couldn't catch.

"If they would have just, when they had their pets, spayed them and neutered them from the beginning, they wouldn't have had all these kittens," Wagner said.

Most of the cats aren't in good health.

"There were a lot of upper respiratory, snotty noses, runny eyes, that kind of stuff," she said. "This is the worst one we've seen here. Doesn't mean there aren't more I'm sure there are, we're just not aware of them."

The goal is to get the animals back to health, and educate people that when things get out of hand, ask for help.

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