Gilbert, Arizona (CNN) - Police were called to a Gilbert, Arizona home Monday after the new owners, who bought the property at auction, discovered there were dozens of cats inside.
Police said 79 cats were removed with the help of the Arizona
Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
The stench of cat urine and feces in the home was said to be overwhelming. The animal rescuers had to wear respirators and special clothing to protect themselves.
All the cats were alive, but an animal control official said often in conditions like this, the cats are unhealthy and have to be euthanized.
Police say the woman who used to live there is 59-year-old Jean Whitaker. She has signed the cats over to authorities.
Police say at a minimum, Whitaker will be cited for a city code violation. She could up facing animal cruelty charges.