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Family Allegedly Hoarded 110 Cats In Home Coated In Feces, Urine, Cat Hair, Roaches, and Flies
An Orange County family has been charged with a handful of felony counts, including animal cruelty, stemming from evidence they hoarded 110 cats inside a filthy, stinky home that was unsafe for its occupants, including two young girls.
The cat hoarding was uncovered inside the Santa Ana home of Sharon Lynn Howe, 65, her husband John Ed Howe, 68, daughter Kerri Lynn Howe Moreno, 44, Moreno's husband Jessy Moreno, 41, and Kerri Moreno's daughter Courtney Lynn Howe Perez, 23. The family was operating an illegal rescue for the felines, according to City News Service. Also living in the home were two girls, ages 6 and 12.
"One of the children slept on a living room couch, surrounded by cats and constantly exposed to the smell of feces and urine, prosecutors said," according to the OC Register. "The other child slept in a bedroom under the similar conditions."
Authorities from the local police and animal control department went to the home in February, where they found unsanitary and dangerous living conditions. In fact, the situation was so dire, the team had to leave and return wearing hazmat gear. OC Deputy DA Aleta Bryant says the home "was smeared with feces, urine, cat hair, roaches and flies."
Many of the cats were ill with a variety of ailments, including ear mites, fur contamination from the waste, fleas, and upper respiratory illness. 20 cats had to be euthanized.
The Howes said they'd "meant to" get a license to operate their rescue business.
Arraignment is scheduled for January 18.