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PACC rescues 43 pets from trailer in hoarding case

Pets now available for adoption
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Posted at 10:09 AM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 16:27:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Two people are facing animal cruelty charges after Pima County Sheriff's Deputies say they found them hoarding 43 animals in hot, filthy conditions.

But despite what authorities say the animals endured, they still seem to love people.

The turtles seem pretty calm about it all but five of them, five dogs and 43 cats have been rescued from what animal welfare officers say was a bad situation.

The pets are now available for adoption at Pima Animal Care Center.

All five turtles and at least three cats have found homes.

Pima Sheriff's Deputies say they found the animals in a trailer near Ajo Highway and San Joaquin Road.

Deputies went there to check a report of unauthorized camping on Federal land. They say they found the animals in sweltering conditions with floors thick with filth.

Nikki Reck of Pima County Animal Care Center says, “There was a litter box, it was overflowing. They weren't using it, obviously. And there was no electricity. So all this is just baking in the small trailer. So it's just not a good place for one cat, let alone 30-something cats to be in."

43 Year old Andres Contreras -- and 32 year old Joylynn Severns-- are facing animal cruelty charges.

The cats are in quarantine because they're ill with respiratory problems. One was so bad off it was humanely euthanized but the remaining animals have a good chance of full recoveries.

Often in hoarding cases the animals are afraid of people. With so many in one place they may not get much human contact. But these animals seem to have held onto the love of people that makes people love pets.

Nikki Reck says, “The cats especially have been very excited to see humans and they're a little scared at first. But once they realize that you're there to feed them and to brush them or to help them out they're following people around the room. And the dogs are very happy. They're excited. They're just like little puppies."

The animals aren't currently available for adoption, but PACC will notify the public when the animals are ready. Pima Animal Care says the dogs are healthy now but the cats need more time. Animal Care will determine when they're ready for adoption but in the meantime there are plenty of animals that would love a permanent home or just some time in foster care.

An earlier version of this story included incorrect information from PACC that 53 animals had been rescued.