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Rescued Cats Need New Home

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NEW PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- More than a dozen cats rescued from a home in Schuylkill County are looking for a new home.

The homeowner has been charged with cruelty.

Earlier this week, the Hillside SPCA rescued 16 cats from a home on Kimber Street in New Philadelphia.

"It was just covered with feces and urine and there were cats everywhere," said humane officer Maureen Graf.

People who live in New Philadelphia were surprised to hear about all of the cats found inside the home.

"I don't like seeing animals being put out for garbage or anything like that," Ron Schaeffer said.

"Yeah, you never know. You don't know what's going on behind closed doors. It is kind of shocking a little bit," Larry Dawson said.

New Philadelphia police charged the woman who owned the home -- Shirley Smith of Pottsville -- with several counts of cruelty to animals.

When they went inside, they not only found the 16 cats but six dead ones, too.

"It's horrifying. That's not something you ever want to deal with," Officer Graf said.

SPCA workers say these cases happen way too often. A year ago, they had a similar one. That time, they rescued about 100 cats from a home in Mahanoy City.

"The hoarding cases are some of the hardest cases that we see because of the sheer number of animals. These cats are pretty thin from what we've seen so far, so they're going to need to be seen medically," said humane officer Janine Choplick.

The cats have been treated for fleas and will be spayed and neutered.

They'll be ready for adoption soon.

SPCA workers encourage people to come in to meet the cats.

"We get so many cats in. They'll come in litter after litter. People just don't come in to adopt them as much," Graf added.

If you would like to adopt one of the cats, contact the Hillside SPCA.

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