111 cats rescued from squalid conditions

The Kelowna SPCA is lending a hand after the Penticton branch rescued 111 cats from extremely poor living conditions.

The cats were living in a mobile home in Penticton, and conditions were so bad that SPCA staff had to wear protective masks to protect themselves from high ammonium levels.

While Penticton is looking after most of the cats, Kelowna is currently taking care of 30 of them, and several others have been sent to SPCA branches across the Lower Mainland.

Kelowna branch manager Sean Hogan says the SPCA had been working with the property owner for quite some time, until the cat population exploded.

"One of the things that I've learned over the years is that this starts as an act of kindness, feeding stray or feral cats," says Hogan. "But without necessarily controlling the situation, it can get out of hand quickly."

Hogan says many of the cats are suffering from diseases, ranging from respiratory problems to different kinds of viruses. 

A large number of them are also badly undersocialized.

"We can sometimes get ahead of the health issues, but with the behaviour stuff, if you're dealing with undersocialized kittens and adult cats, it can be a long period of time working with them to modify the behaviour so that they can become adoptable," says Hogan.

The good news is that some of the cats are making enough progress that they'll be able to go up for adoption within the next week.

Hogan says SPCA staff are still investigating the property down in Penticton, and the owner could very likely face animal cruelty charges.

If you want to donate towards the care of these cats, visit the BC SPCA's website.