By Lauren Fruen
VOLUNTEERS were forced to crawl through a house of horrors in order to rescue more than 70 cats left in squalor with terrible injuries.
The animals were found missing eyes, respiratory problems and losing hair throughout the home which was littered with feces and debris.
They all had chemical burns on their feet from the urine soaked floors.
The pets were rescued by two charities – 9 Lives Rescue Oklahoma and Safe Haven animal rescue – after a plea went out to help when their owner moved away at the beginning of the month.
Volunteer Caitlin Sumler said what they found when they arrived at the house in Okemah over the weekend was “absolutely awful”.
The rescue shelters found that nine cats had already died when they arrived at the house. They are now hoping to rehome the dozens they found alive after getting them back to full health.
Teacher Caitlin said nothing could have prepared them for the “severity of the situation” and that no pictures “could do justice” to the awful state they found the home in.
She said: “It was absolutely awful.
“The house was foreclosed on and the woman moved out on December 1. She moved out of state, left food and asked the neighbour to feed the cats. The neighbour had not been in the house in many, many years.
“She was shocked by the severity of the situation. It hit her like a brick wall when she opened the door for the first time. She knew she had to reach out for help.
“I had to hunch over and crawl through the house as the mess left behind was so high.
“I could not believe someone had been living in those conditions up until December 1.
“The spider webs were so low that I had to bend down. We had vapour rub on and mask but the smell was still overwhelming.
“Nine cats will have at least one, some may need both, eye surgically removed.
“Some have UTIs. One doesn’t have a single tooth left. All of them are extremely emaciated.
“For the most part the cats were all pretty afraid.
“They all had chemical burns on their feet from the urine.”
9 Lives Rescue Oklahoma is now looking for help in rehoming and caring for the cats. Please visit www.facebook.com/ninelivesoklahoma.