WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - They were abandoned, neglected, but not forgotten. Almost two weeks after being left locked inside a Wood County home, 60 cats and four dogs were rescued.
"This is not a normal day for us but it's gotta be done and it needs to be done," said Sheriff Bill Wansley.
He and Wood County authorities worked alongside Texas SPCA rescue teams. Members used nets, gloved hands, and live animal traps to gather the animals trapped in and roaming outside the house.
"This is a nice neighborhood," said Maura Davies, with Texas SPCA. "This used to be a really nice house and it's completely destroyed inside."
Davies was one of the first inside the animal infested home.
"The stench the smell of ammonia, from this urine and feces soaked house," said Davies. "It's just so hard to walk into a situation where you're almost knocked over by the smell and then you see the filth that these animals are living in. I've never seen a bathtub a garden bathtub filled up with that much litter."
Authorities estimate the homeowner abandoned the house about two weeks ago but say that evidence of lack of care had been existing for months. The most obvious sign was the 4-5 foot high pile of used cat litter bags and dog food found that filled up an entire room.
"It hurts a neighborhood, something like this going on," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.
That same neighbor said he suspected animal mistreatment for months.
"You could hear the dogs barking in the garage and she told the other neighbor over here she had at least 50 cats in there," said the man.
Once rescued, each animal was catalogued, numbered, and loaded up.
"We may very well see them turn around very quickly once we can get them the care that they need," said Davies.
Care rescuers hope a future permanent home will provide. All the animals were taken to the Perry Animal Care Center in McKinnney. They will be cared for there until future custody is settled. SPCA always asks if you suspect any sign of animal cruelty to contact your local law enforcement.