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Investigators find 113 dead kittens, 51 ailing cats in home of accused Calif. cat hoarder, authorities say

A number of cats were found during a search and rescued from a home in Seaside, Calif. Monterey County authorities discovered 113 dead kittens spread out over two residential properties believed to be owned by a cat hoarder AP Photo/SPCA for Monterey County

(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - Authorities said they found 113 dead kittens Tuesday in an apartment they believe to have belonged to a cat hoarder. None of the dead kittens appeared to be more than two months old. Dozens of ailing adult cats were also discovered in another house nearby.

Seaside police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County discovered the animals in a joint effort and served search warrants at the properties, SPCA Sgt. Stacy Sanders said. Officers were alerted by a property manager who discovered dead kittens during an inspection.

Another tip told them that more cats were moved to a nearby house. A group of investigators went there and discovered 51 adult cats that were alive, but sick and neglected.

"The cats were living in extremely horrible conditions," Sanders said. "They were separated into two groups and locked into rooms with little to no ventilation. The floors were saturated in urine and feces."

Officers stayed about six hours to recover all the cats.

"We had to go through every nook and cranny, pull apart every bed and chair," Sanders said.

SPCA staff members treated the surviving cats, which are now in stable condition. SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said most of those animals had respiratory infections, parasites and broken teeth. Two underwent emergency surgery for potentially life-threatening uterus infections. At least five were pregnant.

No arrests were made, but the SPCA referred the case to the Monterey County district attorney's office to consider criminal animal abuse charges. They declined to identify the suspected hoarder while the investigation is ongoing.

Sanders said authorities received tips that the cats may have been taken from the street. The officers are asking community members to send in photos of their missing cats.

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