Over 70 Cats And Kittens Rescued From Horrific Conditions In Basement Of Des Moines Home

Over 70 cats and kittens lived in squalor in the basement of a home in Des Moines, Iowa. Officials were finally made aware of the hoarding situation and were shocked when they entered the vile basement.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) Mobile Rescue Team spent hours removing 74 cats and kittens from the home. Many of the cats were in desperate need of medical care. “Our veterinarians are still examining each of the cats to determine their individualized treatment plans,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the ARL. “We are still working to rescue the remaining cats and like before, we will not stop until every last one is rescued – no matter what it takes.”

Photos: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

The cats “were removed with a warrant because our efforts to have them surrendered first were denied by the owner,” stated the rescue.

The rescue team returned to the home and rescued another three kittens, bringing the total rescued to 77.

Photos: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

“ARL rescuers arrived at a gruesome scene: There were cats everywhere, including inside the walls. The floors were covered with bloody diarrhea from cats who were critically ill. It was clear that a lot of suffering had occurred inside that house,” wrote the rescue.

“As our team began to triage the cats at the scene, we found days-old kittens with umbilical cords still attached, 2 cats with leg deformities that were likely from inbreeding, many female cats who are likely pregnant, and several more with life-threatening medical conditions.”

Photos: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Sadly, four of the cats did not survive. Veterinarians performed necropsies on the deceased cats and found some died from panleukopenia, a highly contagious viral disease that can be particularly deadly to kittens.

“Because of this, all of the cats and kittens from this case are under quarantine for 2 weeks while we monitor their health status, effectively shutting down two rooms in the shelter for that time,” posted ARL.

Photos: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

However, thanks to generous people like you, the cats will not be bored in quarantine. Engaging cat toys and cardboard castles arrived from GreaterGood and The Animal Rescue Site to entertain the felines. In addition, the cats will be well fed thanks to FreeKibble’s donation of HALO food.

“The rescued cats love the hidey boxes and climbed in and on them as soon as we put them in their kennels. They’ve been especially great for the more fearful cats in the group during their transition to a new environment. The toys have also helped keep the cats and kittens busy and entertained during their quarantine time. Thank you so much for providing extra comfort and enrichment for these cats as they start their new lives,” said shelter staff member, Jessica Jorgenson.

Photos: Animal Rescue League of Iowa

The cruelty case is still under investigation so the rescue can only say that the cats arrived at the property five days before the rescue. They cannot say how the cats arrived or any more details about the property. We hope the person responsible is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

As for the rescued cats and kittens, they will receive all the necessary medical treatment, be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and then find loving forever homes. The cats will only experience love from this day forward, and that is in part due to generous people like you.

Thank you for donating and helping care for these innocent felines. Together we change the world.

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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