Dozens of animals rescued in "disturbing cat hoarding case"

MONROE, Wash. -- Pasado's Safe Haven in Snohomish County is asking for the public's help in aiding dozens of cats after rescuers responded to an "extremely disturbing cat hoarding case."

According to officials, an elderly woman had 40+ cats at her home in Natches, Washington, but a health emergency forced her to abandon the animals.

"Our team had to wear HAZMAT suits respirators to protect themselves from just awful levels of ammonium from the feces and the urine and just filth all over," Laura Henderson, Pasado's executive director, said.

Two of the cats were already deceased when crews arrived, but 27 cats were rescued from the home and taken to Pasado's, where they're receiving medical attention.

A rescue team was planning to return to the home Friday to catch an additional 10 or more cats living outside.

"Unfortunately, most of these cats are suffering from serious health issues, which include tumors, mouth lesions, upper respiratory infections and infected eyes," according to a news release.

Pasado's estimated more than three dozen spay/neuter surgeries will need to be performed, and the cost of medical care for the cats could exceed $15,000.

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