OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Joint Animal Services in Olympia rescued more than 130 cats and kittens from "horrendous" conditions on Wednesday.
With the new additions, Joint Animal Services facilities are now at critical capacity. The staff is asking the community to donate, foster or adopt if possible.
There are now 230 animals in Animal Services' care. The organization doubled the number of animals in their facility in a single day.
Staff is also still working to rescue more cats inside the residence. It is estimated that there could be at least 15 more still on the property.
All of the cats seized were found living in deplorable conditions. Sarah Hock, Executive Director of Joint Animal Services said the cats were living in their own filth. Those who rescued the cats had to wear protective gear when they got them out.
"There was really no access to food or water,” said Hock.
Hock said the tenant of the home reached out to Joint Animal Services two weeks go for help, and efforts ramped up as they faced eviction.
“Unfortunately a case of someone with a big heart started taking in local strays and abandoned cats with no access to spay and neuter quickly got out of hand,” Hock said.
These cats are in better shape than we were expecting. They are underweight and dehydrated,” Hock said.
The Joint Animal Services is in charge of animal sheltering and humane law enforcement for Thurston County.
This rescue comes on top of a year where the shelter is seeing more intakes and fewer adoptions; likely due to the economy and lack of housing. Hock said they are also over capacity when it comes to dogs.
“We can only house at any given time only 96 animals. We are at 230,” Hock said.
40 fosters and several rescues including Seattle Humane, PAWS in Lynnwood, and Tacoma Pierce County Humane stepped up to ease the major undertaking.
“It takes a village. We can't do this on our own. We can't just do it with our rescue partners and our fosters and volunteers. It takes a whole community to help us,” Hock said.
The organization is in need of cat and kitten supplies like food, toys, treats and medical supplies. A complete list can be found here.
The cats that were rescued this week are still undergoing medical treatments and evaluations and are not ready to be adopted yet, but there are many animals in need of a home. Check out the list of available pets on their website.