Nearly 100 cats in poor health found inside Butte home
Updated On: Jul 03 2014 08:41:35 PM MDT
A multi-agency investigation led authorities to find 100 cats locked inside a home in Butte this week.
Officials said all the cats are in extremely poor condition. They're working to provide the best care for the animals.
"There's really no way to describe it," said Animal Shelter Supervisor Jacki Casagranda. "It's just unimaginable, the smell is extremely strong and it's just absolutely unimaginable."
Casagranda was gearing up to go inside a Delaware Avenue house where the cats were locked inside.
"It's the hard part of the job...We're going to do it, because that's what we're here for," said Casagranda.
Casagranda and three others from Animal Services have been working the past two days to find all the cats and catch them.
"I'm so proud of my staff and everyone is doing a great job to save these animals and do the right thing by them," said Casagranda.
Neighbors said they suspected something was up when they noticed a horrible smell and saw cats running from the house. They say they made several phone calls and that's when Butte-Silver Bow got involved.
"We started our process contacting and trying to find the person who lived here and found out it was a rental," said Animal Services Director Ed Randall.
The city contacted the property manager and got permission to enter the home. Turns out the tenant is still paying his rent and utilities, but has another residence in the city. In the house, it's just cats.
"We got here, we noticed a foul odor, we went to the doorsteps, we heard noises that sounded like animals in distress and jumping up at the window," said Randall.
What they found inside can hardly be described.
"We did call a local veterinarian to be on site with us so that we could determine the illness and what to do with each animal as they came out," said Randall.
Animal Services has been pulling out cat after cat -- some alive, some dead -- all in poor health.
"They have the most difficult job in Butte today," said Butte-Silver Bow Public Information and Online Administrator Justin Ringsak. "Folks that are helping address these properties and help these animals, I think it sort of speaks to the Butte spirit that we have so many people rallying here today."
The Fire Department, Health Department, Community Enrichment and Animal Control all worked toward one goal.
"To ensure that every animal is taken care of one way or another," said Randall.
About 15 cats are still inside the home.
Butte-Silver Bow Animal Services workers are assessing each rescued cat's health to determine what type of care the cats need.
Police told us the house will likely be demolished. They are investigating the tenant who rents the home, and say he will likely be charged with animal abuse.