SACRAMENTO, Oct. 8 (UPI) — Sacramento officials say they rescued dozens of cats that had been living in a house with cages stacked to the ceiling and feces caking the floors.
Inside Paul and Kathy Franco’s house and garage, city officials said they discovered among the worst cases of animal hoarding they had ever seen, The Sacramento Bee reported.
After a SWAT team kicked open the couple’s door Wednesday, veterinary specialists, shelter workers and animal-control officers spent hours rescuing the cats, which were taken to the city’s animal-control center.
“It’s an interesting thing about people who hoard animals,” said Laura Warner, the city shelter’s veterinarian. “They really love their animals. Things just get out of control. It looks like that’s what happened here.”
Penny Cistaro, Sacramento’s animal-care services manager, said city officials had received complaints about the couple and their cats for a year, but the couple refused to let investigators in. Cistaro sought the court order that enabled officers and officials to enter.
The house was condemned as a safety hazard, and police said the couple would be charged with felony animal cruelty.
Cistaro told Kathy Franco the couple would be allowed to keep only seven of the cats and others could possibly be put up for adoption.
When Franco began crying, Cistaro said: “I know that this is a lot to absorb right now. But you’ve got to think about what is best for the cats.”
Copyright 2009 by United Press International