[Wednesday, June 5 10 am update] The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says they have rescued 79 cats, and are still trying to catch dozens of others. Some of them were just days old, weighing as little as four ounces. Nearly every cat had fleas and upper respiratory infections. Broken teeth, skin infections, and infected wounds were also common. Unfortunately, 193 deceased cats were recovered.

According to WHO, 65-year-old Dennis Carlson has been arrested and faces five charges of animal neglect and three charges of failure to dispose of a dead animal.

An Emergency Order giving protective/medical services to Carlson was granted by a Polk County judge Tuesday. The petition that asked for the order said that Carlson is a dependent adult who was the victim of abuse. In granting the order, the judge said Carlson "lacks the capacity to consent to the receipt of such protective/medical services and there is no one available to consent to such services." Authorities were initially called to his home because his home was being foreclosed on and his vehicle repossessed.

Polk County Jail

[ORIGINAL STORY] Beyond comprehension. There's simply no other way to describe what the Animal Rescue League of Iowa dealt with yesterday when they found approximately 200 dead cats, and around 100 still alive, at a property in rural Madrid, in central Iowa.

According to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL), they spent the entire day "at a property in central Iowa today, removing HUNDREDS of living and deceased cats and kittens from multiple buildings at a personal residence."

As of early last evening, cats were STILL being rescued with about 100 still alive and, at that time, nearly 200 deceased cats found. The conditions inside the house itself, are hard to comprehend. ARL staffers were required to wear respirators because of the toxicity of the air and could only be inside for 30 minutes at a time. The ARL says "dozens of cats were pressed up against open windows, trying to get fresh air." There was literally feet of garbage and feces covering the entire home and deceased cats were found in freezers and refrigerators, "alongside the owner's own food."

Tom Colvin, CEO of the ARL, says

This is by far the worst hoarding case ARL Iowa has seen in more than 10 years. It’s absolutely horrendous. I don’t even have the words to describe how bad this is. We were already over capacity prior to this rescue with more than 1,100 cats in our care, so we are going to need a lot of help from the public with this one.

You can donate to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa HERE. More than $5,000 has been donated in the last 12 hours.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Facebook