DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines police officers said a home on the city's east side was one of the worst they've ever entered, according to WHO.
Officers were called to a home in the 800 block of E. Morton Avenue on Wednesday afternoon to investigate a strong ammonia scent. Animal control officers say the source of the smell was obvious as they approached the home: animal waste.
Inside the home, officers found dozens of cats, some of them dead, others living in filth. Officers estimate that six inches of cat feces covered every square inch of the floor and say it was impossible to walk inside without stepping in it. At least 20 cats have been taken from the home as of Wednesday afternoon. Animal control officers say more cats are hiding in air vents and behind appliances in the home.
Police say felony charges are likely for the homeowner. "It's a disregard for the animals because it's not safe for them. It's not safe for the occupant of the home as well. It's bad," says Sergeant Jeff Cronin.
Authorities did not immediately identify the homeowner.