Twelve cats are up from adoption after they were rescued from a condemned house. About 30 other cats and three dogs are still being treated so they can go up for adoption.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) released video of the animals and the Colorado Springs home near Uintah and Nevada. We showed the video to neighbors, who told us it was their first look inside the home.
Sara Wulfkuhle and Brenda Miller live next door. They said the smell from the home was so bad, they couldn't be outside for long.
"The smell of cat urine was so strong so we weren't able to enjoy being in our own backyard," Miller said.
We're told seven animal law enforcement officers, HSPPR staff, and a veterinarian went into the home, where there were feces and urine everywhere. They said the levels of ammonia from the cat urine was 20-50 times higher that what is safe for people. Sgt. Ken Gingrich was one of those officers.
"We glove up, (wear) long sleeves, respirators are pretty important because the ammonia levels were so high in the home," Sgt. Gingrich said.
The humane society said the cats hid in corners throughout the three-story home and some were somehow caught inside the walls.
"Some did have upper respiratory infections, but they were treated and they've recovered from it. For the ones that do need dental work, (they) are currently getting them, and after that they're good to go," HSPPR veterinarian Nicole Putney DVM said.
The animals were rescued in December. The owner has now been charged with cruelty to animals.
"We've been friends with her, and she was over and our daughter asked, 'how many cats do you have?' and she said 'I don't even know.' She had lost count," Wulfkuhle said.
We talked to several other neighbors off-camera who told us similar stories. A very close-knit neighborhood, everyone said the woman charged is a very nice, sweet and kind woman. They're now hoping she'll get the help she needs.
If you want to adopt a cat, click on the link in this story.