30 cats saved from condemned Muncie home; ‘The conditions were deplorable, the smells were overwhelming’


MUNCIE — Thirty cats were rescued Tuesday morning from authorities what authorities are calling a severe neglect situation. 

The Humane Society of the United States teamed up with the Muncie Police Department and Muncie Animal Services today to save the cats.

Experts believe the felines had been left inside the 1,500-square-foot home for months, if not years, without being cleaned with feces stacked thick throughout the home. Crews say the scene was one of the worst they’ve ever seen.

Most of the cats had to be taken for emergency veterinary care with severe scabbing and upper respiratory issues. Someone had also been living inside the home which promptly has been condemned. 

This all after a neighbor called to complain about the smell from the outside of the home to the Delaware County Health Department which tipped off Muncie Animal Care & Services Animal Control Director Ethan Browning.

“The conditions inside were… deplorable. They were… they were filthy… to say the least,” Browning said. “It was definitely unfit for human and animal habitation.”

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, members of the Muncie Police Department issued a search and seizure warrant to the undisclosed property to liberate the dozens of captive cats inside. 

The unfolding scene was difficult for Browning to take in. 

“It does of course break my heart but I have to keep going and handle business to make sure we’re getting those animals cared for,” Browning said. “It’s definitely disheartening… we’ve seen quite a few of these cases this year. Three larger-scale cases.”

Most recently in August when more than 100 cats were removed from a Daleville home. 

But Tuesday’s scene was still worse.

“That’s why I reached out to the Humane Society of the United States for guidance and then we were just blown away by their support that they were actually able to do a full deployment,” Browning said. “We would have not been able to do it without them.”

Indiana State Director of the Humane Society of the United States Samantha Morton says the conditions were worse than she could have possibly imagined. 

“The situation was deplorable and the smells were overwhelming,” Morton said. “It’s definitely one of the worst situations that I’ve seen in my time as Indiana State Director.”

Despite the terrible conditions the cats were held subject to, they still cuddled up to the crew as they worked to rescue them. Morton says it proves these cats are ready to move on. 

“That’s what keeps us all going in this field… is the compassion for the animals and not a lot of people can do what we do,” Morton said. “It was really, really sweet to see that despite the lives that they lived how compassionate they still were for humans. 

Soon you’ll be able to give one of the 30 cats a better, cleaner, life. The cats are currently being held in a temporary shelter where they will be examined by veterinarians and receive much needed care and attention. 

In the meantime, you can adopt another grateful companion, as Muncie shelters are filling fast with cases like this piling up. 

“We have at least 350 cats in the building and close to 90 dogs,” Browning said. “We have noticed an increase in our intake this year and adoptions and reclaims have been slow… so it is difficult especially with a small staff.”

The Muncie Animal Care & Education Center on 901 W Riggin Rd. is offering $5 adoptions through Oct. 30 and waived fees for all elderly animals over 6-years-old and for all senior citizens, first responders or military veterans for their, ‘Fall In Love’ event.

You can see the animals here.  

The MACS is also hiring, looking for volunteers and foster families. You can view all of these topics on the city website

If you’d like to donate, the animal shelter has created an Amazon Wishlist with the supplies they need. 

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