Thirty-nine live cats and three dead ones were taken Friday from a home at 40 Charles St. in Hagerstown, according to the Humane Society of Washington County.
Humane Society spokeswoman Katherine Cooker said 10 of the cats had to be euthanized because they were suffering from a variety of health problems, including dental disease, upper-respiratory disease and ruptured eyeballs.
She said the surviving cats were being treated at the Humane Society by veterinarians.
"There were kittens and adult cats," Cooker said. "We’re trying to get them well."
Cooker said the humane society cannot put the cats up for adoption until an investigation has been completed.
She said the Humane Society learned about the situation from concerned neighbors and served a search warrant Friday with the help of the Hagerstown Police Department and Hagerstown Housing Authority.
Cooker said the occupants of the house, Gladys and Roger Mills, have the right to apply to have the cats returned. She said they could face animal neglect charges if the investigation determines they were negligent.
The Humane Society takes in about 4,000 cats per year, Cooker said, and large intakes such as this one put a strain on the organization’s resources.
"We have limited space," she said.
The Humane Society is asking the public to donate money to help pay for the medical care of the cats. People who wish to do so may call 301-733-2060, visit www.hswcmd.org or stop by the shelter at 13011 Maugansville Road.