ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department says charges are pending in a case where more than 150 cats were found abandoned in a home.
Officials say they found the cats in a home Saturday at a mobile park on Joree Drive after getting a call from the owner of the property.
Joe Armstrong, a neighbor, says he helped deputies and animal control remove the animals from the home.
"You couldn't put into words what I've seen," Armstrong said. "What the deputy's seen -- the odor -- you couldn't do it."
Armstrong says his Godson first smelled an odor coming from the home Saturday.
"I walked over there and you could smell the feces…you couldn't get 10 to 15 feet from (the home) when you smelled it," Armstrong said.
He says after smelling it himself, he called the manager of the mobile home park and when he arrived, he says the manager called the sheriff's department.
"When the sheriff's deputy came out to do an inspection and opened the door and saw all the cats then they called animal control," Armstrong said.
Armstrong says they then worked for almost five hours to round up more than 150 cats. He says the home was filled with feces and that the animals had torn up the walls, the carpet and the furniture.
"When we were trying to catch a gray and white one, we saw a tail sticking out (of a couch) and when we opened up the side- the carcass of one of the cats fell out on the officer's foot," Armstrong said. "That made nine dead cats in the house."
Sheriff's deputies say a couple lived in the home and they were renting the property. They say they were told the couple had separated and that a man was living in the home up until two weeks ago.
Armstrong says he knew those neighbors had cats, but had no idea it was that many.
"If I had known he couldn't take care of them, I would have helped him find homes for them," said Armstrong.
As an animal lover who takes in rescues himself, Armstrong says this whole incident breaks his heart.
"They're like my kids," Armstrong said. "I wouldn't put my kids through that. I wouldn't put an animal through that. If there's a possible way that anybody could get one of these kittens, get them a good home for Christmas that'd be great."
Orangeburg County sheriff's deputies say charges are pending in the case. They say they will be presenting their preliminary findings in court Monday Morning.
All of the live cats are currently at Orangeburg County Animal Control. Neighbors say they were told that the felines would be evaluated, but there's no word yet if they will be adopted out.