The scene was bleak for BC SPCA staff as they seized 123 neglected animals from a trailer in Fort St. James.
A staggering 120 cats and three small dogs were taken from the property. The animals, many of whom were emaciated and suffering from upper respiratory infections, extreme flea infestations, urine scald, eye infections, dental issues, ear mites and wounds, were being kept in filthy and unsafe conditions in a trailer.
The entryway and hallway to the bedrooms were covered in layers of feces and the entire trailer was very hot and filled with an overwhelming ammonia smell due to the build-up of urine. The sticky layer of feces and urine covering the floors was so thick that boot covers were pulled off rescuers within only a couple of steps.
The majority of the cats were hiding in kitchen cupboards, under the fridge and under furniture in the sparsely decorated trailer. No water was present for any of the animals. Some dry cat food had been scattered on the floor, but the food was contaminated with urine and feces.
Many of the cats appeared very hungry and came up to our officer and immediately began eating the food that was offered. The animals were also having difficulty breathing - something we see a lot in these situations.
In addition to the staggering number of cats, three Chihuahuas were also taken into care and are being treated for dental disease, hair loss and grooming issues.
In addition to the 123 animals from the Fort St. James property, the BC SPCA located 130 deceased cats in freezers behind a trailer where the same individuals had resided in Vanderhoof.
Any time we are dealing with situations of animal hoarding it is devastating for both the animals and the people. We are just so glad that we were called in in time to rescue the remaining animals. You can be a part of their rescue too.
The cats and dogs are being cared for at SPCA shelters and will continue to receive ongoing veterinary treatment.
Our animal protection officers have been responding to many large-scale cases like this in recent months, which puts a lot of pressure on our resources as our shelters are already quite busy.
Whatever you can spare toward these neglected little babes would be immensely appreciated.