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FORT ST. JAMES, B.C.- The BC SPCA says they’ve seized 120 cats and three small dogs from a property in Fort St. James.

The society stated that many animals seized were malnourished and suffering from upper-respiratory infections, extreme flea infestations, urine scald, eye infections, dental issues, ear mites and wounds.

They add that the animals were kept in filthy and unsafe conditions in a trailer.

“The entryway and hallway to the bedrooms were covered in layers of feces, and the entire trailer was very hot and filled with an overwhelming ammonia smell due to the build-up of urine,” says Eileen Drever, senior officer for protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA.

 “The feces and urine were so thick that boot covers were pulled off within a couple of steps due to the stickiness.”

According to Drever, most cats were hiding in kitchen cupboards, under the fridge and furniture with no water for the animals.

“Some dry cat food was scattered on the floor, but the food was contaminated with urine and feces,” says Drever. “Many of the cats appeared very hungry and came up to our officer upon initial entry and immediately began eating the food that was offered.” 

Drever notes that many of the cats were having difficulty breathing. 

The three seized chihuahuas are currently being treated for dental disease, grooming issues, and hair loss.

In addition to the live animals from the Fort St. James property, the SPCA recovered 130 deceased cats from freezers located behind a trailer in Vanderhoof where the same individuals had lived.

The society says the seized cats and dogs are being cared for at SPCA shelters and will continue to receive ongoing veterinary care.

Drever says anytime the society deals with situations of animal hoarding, it’s devastating for both the animals and people.

“Our animal protection officers have been responding to many large-scale cases like this in recent months, which puts a lot of pressure on our resources as our shelters are already very busy,” says Drever. 

“The BC SPCA is grateful for anyone who can donate to help offset the cost of caring for these animals.”

Those interested in donating can visit spca.bc.ca/news.

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Spencer HallInvestigative Reporter

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.