Dozens of cats, living in filthy conditions, were removed from a home in Sioux City Monday. Cindy Rarrat is with the Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center.

“We responded to (the home) and were up to the top of the steps when we smelled a horrific smell and knew there was an issue,” Rarrat said. “The conditions inside the residence were very bad.” Workers rescued 46 cats.

Rarrat said seven dead cats were recovered, but there may be more dead animals in the home. No one had been living in the home since March. Rarrat said authorities know who’s responsible for the situation and charges are pending.

“It is a classic case of a hoarding situation,” Rarrat said. “I’ve done this job for 28 years and any time you run into a situation of a hoarder, it’s a very sad experience, not only for the animals, but you’re dealing with someone who has mental issues that need addressed. So, it’s very disheartening for both the animals and the owner involved, so you have to be sympathetic towards both.”

The animals had the full run of the house and were only fed or given water by someone who visited the house occasionally, according to Rarrat.