Arizona Humane Society removes 60 cats from Phoenix apartment

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – The Arizona Humane Society removed 60 cats and two dead kittens from an east Phoenix apartment Thursday afternoon.

Emergency animal medical technicians (EAMTs) were called to the apartment near 44th Street and McDowell Road to do a welfare check on a potential animal hoarding case, according to AHS spokeswoman Bretta Nelson.

She said they went by on Wednesday to assess the situation and removed two very old dogs from the scene, and left food and water for the cats. They went back on Thursday with additional resources and worked with Phoenix police to remove the animals from the residence.

"From what I heard yesterday, they were kind of bouncing off the walls," Nelson said. "Some seemed to be extremely feral with behavioral concerns."

Nelson said they originally thought there were 25 to 30 cats in the apartment but it "ended up being more cats than we ever imagined."

She said the ammonia levels inside the apartment were "through the roof" and EAMTs had to suit up in protective gear.

AHS staff members are concerned about diseases the cats may have.

"When you have that many cats in that small of a space, if they're not vaccinated, then disease seems to run very rampant," Nelson said.

Staff had to prepare an area of the shelter to take the cats so they don't hurt the general population or bring those illnesses into the shelter.

The animals were taken to AHS' Second Chance Animal Hospital where they were medically evaluated by veterinarians.

On Friday afternoon, Nelson said they expect to be able to save 57 to 59 of the 60 cats. She said one will have to be euthanized and two are in "chill" as staffers cannot handle them. Twelve others are in the shelter's isolation area due to upper respiratory infections and will be on medicine for 10 to 14 days.

Seven of the cats will be up for adoption Saturday and others will head to the adoption floor in groups over the next several days.

Nelson said the two dogs are in very poor shape, but they are getting treated in the trauma center and will head to foster care together for a few weeks. Staff members hope they will go up for adoption together after that.

There is no information about the animals' owner at this time.