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74 cats rescued from dirty, feces covered home in Mandarin

The cats have received medical attention and will soon be available for adoption through ACPS and JHS.
Credit: Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services
More than 70 cats were rescued from a home in Mandarin, and will soon be available for adoption from the City of Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services and the Jacksonville Humane Society.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Dozens of cats will soon be available for adoption after they were rescued from a single home in Mandarin, according to the City of Jacksonville.

Warning: Some descriptions, photos in this story may be disturbing.

After 74 cats were rescued from the home, they received a medical exam, vaccinations, dewormer and flea medication as part of Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services' standard intake protocol, a spokesperson told First Coast News Thursday.

"The animals are settling into their new environment," ACPS said. "Additional medical care is being provided as needed in preparation for adoption."

Scroll down for a photo gallery of some cats as they recover!

Friends called Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services to report a residential home where more than 50 cats were living, where there were animal feces and urine, as well as vomit throughout the home, according to a report.

ACPS went to the home to investigate the complaint and check on the animals' conditions and safety on Monday. 

An animal code enforcement officer said while approaching the house, they could smell "an overwhelming odor of ammonia emanating from the door and the window directly right of the door."

Credit: ASPCA

Testing from outside the home showed ammonia levels between 10 and 20 parts per million, the ACPS report says. The OSHA maximum exposure limit is 30 PPM with breathing support, the report says.

The officer was about to leave when the resident arrived, the report says. He told the officer he was glad they were there because he was in need of some help and that "the inside of the home was bad," according to the report.

The man told the officer that he had about 50 cats, according to the report. When officers impounded the animals, a total of 74 cats were captured, along with one cat that was dead.

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The owner told ACPS that he had tried reaching out to the Jacksonville Humane Society and some other places and that he had been unable to get any help, according to the report.

When the officer observed the home, they could smell feces and urine immediately. They saw seven to eight cats along with "several piles of feces," the report says. The smell caused severe irritation to the officer's eyes and nasal cavities, the report says. 

The officer saw two cats in the kitchen and another in the living room that appeared to be thin. Other cats had feces encrusted in their fur and others had discharge coming from their eyes, according to the report.

The owner told the officer that some cats have cloudy eyes, one of them has a hernia and many have discharge from the eye, the report says. 

The officer said they had to leave the area due to trouble breathing and irritation.

The owner told ACPS he had an intervention on Saturday and took full responsibility for the conditions inside the home. He asked for help surrendering the animals because he said he was on a fixed income, according to the report.

The officer asked the owner why he had so many cats, and he said "they just show up at his door and they needed a home," the report says.

Officers returned to the home Thursday morning to impound the cats, according to the report. The owner kept two of the oldest cats that were fixed, along with an outside cat that he feeds and said he would also get fixed, the report says.

The owner will be receiving several warning citations for the animals' conditions, according to the report.

Sixty-four of the cats will remain at ACPS. Ten are being transported to The Jacksonville Humane Society.

ACPS sent us a statement about animal care, saying:

"If members of our community are feeling overwhelmed by the number of animals they own or are struggling to keep up with daily care and cleaning, we encourage them to reach out for assistance. Our greatest need right now is adopters and fosters for both cats and dogs currently available for adoption. Adoption and fostering of the animals available for adoption will allow staff and volunteers to focus their care and attention on the cats that just entered the shelter."

For more information on the services provided by ACPS, click here.