The animals, some quite sickly, were removed from unsafe conditions in an abandoned Cloverdale property on May 14 and 15, the non-profit said in a Monday statement.
“The conditions in the home were extremely unsanitary, with large amounts of feces piled throughout the house and smeared on multiple surfaces, urine-soiled carpets and furniture, piles of garbage, flies and mounds of hoarded items,” said Eileen Drever, senior protection and stakeholder relations officer.
There was so much garbage in the home, she added, BC SPCA staff had difficulty moving around to collect the animals.
The cats, which range in age from a few days old to about seven years, had no visible supply of water in the home. As soon as officers put down bowls of food and water, the felines came running, said Drever.
“They are suffering from a number of medical issues, including upper respiratory infection, bloody diarrhea, limping, dehydration and emaciation,” she said.
“All of the cats were triaged and assessed at our facilities in Surrey and Chilliwack and will receive on-going care until they are well enough to be put up for adoption.”
As for the female sheep found on the property — the BC SPCA said she was found in the backyard surrounded by overturned furniture, strewn garbage and dangerous objects, like broken glass and wires.
“Whenever we rescue such a large number of animals at one time, it puts enormous strain on the resources of our busy shelters,” said Drever, in a plea for donations to care for the 60 animals.
The BC SPCA has previously said the need for its services has grown in recent years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “unprecedented natural disasters.”
The society assisted a record-breaking 118,917 domestic, farm and wild animals across the province in 2021, nearly 22,000 more animals than in 2020. It also provided 12,418 nights of free emergency boarding to pets whose families were displaced by wildfires and floods, and helped rescue and feed animals “behind evacuation lines.”
Anyone who is able to home or support the Himalayan cats is asked to visit spca.bc.ca.