NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — More than 50 cats are in need of new homes after officials discovered them neglected in a residence in New Iberia, authorities said.

On Saturday, New Iberia Police responded to a call regarding an incident on the 500 block of Fontelieu Street. Police interviewed the resident and discovered more than 50 cats and kittens housed in what they described as “deplorable conditions.”

Animal control officers visited the home and declared it unfit for the cats to remain there, authorities said. Officers said the house reeked of feces and urine and piles of waste several inches deep covered most of the house. Many of the cats appeared weak, sickly and ill. Individuals entering the house had to wear respirators, authorities said.

The identity of the owner of the cats and what criminal charges they may face have not been released.

Since the local shelter lacked the space and resources to board and medically treat all the cats, Erica Capak, director of Iberia Parish Rabies Control, reached out to the Humane Society of Louisiana for support and assistance. The society agreed to pay some of the costs, and 21 of the sickest cats were removed and transferred to Iberia Animal Clinic, where they remain in isolation. Many are being treated for flea infestation and anemia, and several are pregnant. One gave birth to multiple kittens Tuesday night, officials said. Others are also being treated for corneal ulcers.

As soon as space becomes available, Iberia Parish Rabies Control plans to remove the other 30-odd cats. The owner has surrendered the cats, but the investigation remains open and active. Other humane societies will also try and board and treat some of the pregnant cats, according to Humane Society of Louisiana Director Jeff Dorson. 

“We are grateful that Erica and her team responded so quickly and reached out for help,” Dorson said. “This is an enormous undertaking that will require a lot of resources.”

Those wishing to adopt one or more of these cats are encouraged to call the shelter at 337-364-6311. The adoption fee is $70 per cat. The fee includes a sterilization surgery, microchip, rabies tag and a health check. Most of the cats seized are orange and grey tabbies. 

To help cover some of the costs of housing and treating the cats, the Humane Society has set up fundraisers on Facebook at and on GoFundme. The group needs to raise several thousand to cover its costs but has raised less than half the amount so far, Dorson said.  

Checks and money orders can also be mailed to HSLA, P.O. Box 74032, New Orleans, LA 70174. All donations are tax-deductible.

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