Updated:IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. —
Animal control officers seized close to 200 cats from a Mooresville house Friday night. Officials said it's the most cats they had ever seen.
The owner of all the cats had crossed the line into pet hoarding.
Workers had to put each pet into crates and load them into vehicles. The total number of pets came out to 198 cats and 3 dogs.
The smell of urine reeked from
inside the home, according to witnesses.
"Feces everywhere, cats everywhere, every door you opened there were cats, piles and piles of cats," said Chris Royal, director of Iredell County Animal Services.
Neighbors said they have been dealing with it for years.
Animal Control officers said they visited the home three times this week and owners would not answer the door.
That is when they decided to obtain a warrant to enter the home.
"I have made calls out to rescue groups to help
us; some of the cats were sick so they will have to be euthanized, the sick ones," said Royal.
Officers said they were called to the same house about four months ago.
At that time, they said they found only 30 to 40 cats inside the home living in clean conditions. There was no reason to seize them at that time.
About 50 cats are sick and will have to be put down, but officials said the others could be ready for adoption early next week.
Animal cruelty charges are pending.