Officials rescue dozens of pets in filthy conditions

More than two dozen pets had to be euthanized, while veterinarians are working on trying to nurse dozens more back to health after the animals were found living in filthy conditions in Monterey County.

Officials with the SPCA for Monterey County say when their humane officers went to a home in Greenfield on Wednesday they found 63 cats and kittens and seven dogs living in a home filled with feces, urine, and overrun by thousands of cockroaches.

The smell of ammonia from urine inside the home was so strong that, according to rescue officials, it posed an “overwhelming and serious health hazard.”

SPCA spokesperson Dawn Fenton told SFBay:

“It was really awful, no animal should be living like that.”

The cats, kittens and dogs were dirty, matted, skinny and suffering from severe flea infestations.  Some had ear parasites, while others had upper respiratory infections. One cat found locked in a cage without food was so weak and emaciated that it was unable to move.

Because some of the pets were in such poor shape they could not be saved.  Fenton says 26 kittens had to be humanely euthanized to end what was described as “extreme suffering.”

Fenton said the remaining pets are undergoing treatment in the hopes of returning them to health:

“They’ll be with us for a long time.  They’ll be getting lots of tender loving care.”

Officials say the home where the pets were found has been declared uninhabitable.

It’s not clear who lived in the home, but neighbors told KSBW-TV that an 84-year-old woman resided there, though they rarely saw her outside.

Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services and the Monterey County Department of Health are investigating.

The rescue is the seventh major rescue undertaken by the SPCA for Monterey County this year. It comes after 14 dogs, four puppies and two cats were found living in what was described as “shocking, inhumane conditions” in a Pacific Grove home in May.

In the past year alone Monterey County SPCA officials say they have rescued 637 animals who were suffering from “cruelty and neglect.”


John Marshall is an SFBay editor and producer and writer for San Francisco’s KGO Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @breakingnewsman.