DAMASCUS, Ore. – A total of 95 neglected cats and two dogs were rescued from a Damascus home Tuesday afternoon after a year-long investigation by the Oregon Humane Society.
Before the raid, a visitor to the house had reported seeing a cat with its eye sticking out and a bloody tail. The person also reported seeing several malnourished cats, according to an OHS spokesman.
An OHS officer also visited the house several times and reported seeing neglected cats and said there was a strong odor of feces and urine in the home.
“The evidence strongly indicated that this was a potential cat hoarding case and that dozens of cats could be suffering from neglect,” said Dr. Kris Otteman with the Oregon Humane Society.
OHS officers, Damascus police officers and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies served a search warrant at the house on Foster Road around 11:30 a.m. The warrant gave them authority to remove all animals at the property.
The animals, which included three kittens, were handled by veterinarians who had to wear protective suits and respirators. They were then taken to the Oregon Humane Society's Holman Medical Center in Northeast Portland.
The animals won’t be put up for adoption yet because they’re considered evidence in a court case. Many of the animals are malnourished and have scabs. Veterinarians were examining them Tuesday afternoon.
The investigation actually began more than a year ago. For the last year, the homeowner would not let anyone inside or answer any questions.
"Finally we got some other evidence through other sources that gave us a more concrete idea of what it was like in that house," said David Lytle with the Oregon Humane Society. "With that evidence, we got a search warrant."
Investigators believe there may be more cats on the property that are feral.
No citations have been issued at this point.
KATU Reporter Meghan Kalkstein contributed to this report.
Video of the Rescue from the Oregon Humane Society