Monterey County SPCA officers seized 17 cats from a squalid trailer in Prunedale Wednesday, where the animals were living in their own excrement.
The small, 168-square foot camping trailer was occupied by a single female and nearly 20 cats, including seven tiny kittens. The trailer was cluttered and covered in feces and urine. There also was an active sewage leak, and an extension cord leading to the main residence provided the sole source of electricity.
The cats were found with numerous health issues consistent with hoarding and neglect cases, according to SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser. That includes eye injuries and infections, upper respiratory infections and flea infestations. The animals' fur was matted and covered in filth. A veterinarian will be evaluating them.
The resident was not arrested, but the SPCA plans to ask the Monterey County District Attorney's Office to file charges against her, Brookhouser said.
This was the seventh large-scale rescue performed in the past two years by the Monterey County SPCA. Those cases included more than 300 animals, including one case in Seaside where authorities found 51 adult cats and 113 dead kittens in July 2013. That case led to the conviction of a mother and daughter duo.
Charges are still pending in three hoarding cases from 2013, including a suspected cat hoarding case in unincorporated Monterey County, in which 18 cats were seized in November.
The cats are in protective custody at the SPCA, according to officials there. The animals will remain there as the investigation continues.