MUNCIE, Indiana—The Humane Society of the United States is assisting the Muncie Police Department in rescuing dozens of cats in an alleged severe neglect situation in Muncie, Indiana. The Indiana State Board of Health and Muncie Animal Services also provided assistance on-scene.

Local authorities served a search and seizure warrant on a 1,500-square-foot residential property at approximately 9 a.m. on Oct. 19. Many of the cats were in need of veterinary care; were suffering from upper respiratory infections, skin conditions and injuries; and were very thin. Several of the cats were immediately removed from the property for emergency veterinary care.

The cats were found in filthy conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations. Following the removal of the cats, the property will be condemned, according to city officials. Despite the poor conditions and apparent suffering, several of the cats were eager for attention and followed rescuers throughout the building.

The Humane Society of the United States is transporting the rescued animals to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location where they will continue to be examined by licensed veterinarians and receive much-needed care and attention. RedRover responders are assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the temporary shelter.

“These cats are suffering—I haven’t seen animals living in conditions like this before. Walking around, you have to be careful not to slip in the layers of filth. These cats are gentle, sweet and crave attention,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to the City of Muncie for intervening. I’m honored to be working alongside our rescue team as we help give these cats a new beginning.”

“This was one of the worst animal cases and the most deplorable living conditions I have seen in my 20 years of law enforcement,” said Chief Nathan Sloan of the Muncie Police Department. “We are all thankful for the Humane Society of the United States’ significant contribution to this effort that enabled us to help these animals.”

Muncie officials requested the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States after concerns about the welfare of animals on the property were raised. The cats were surrendered by the property resident and will eventually be available for adoption through shelter and rescue partners after their immediate needs are addressed.

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