KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Knox County Animal Control officers seized 41 cats from an animal rescuer's West Knoxville home.
After a complaint, KCSO said officers searched the home of Annette Traore, 46, and found the cats living in "inhumane" conditions.
According to a report, numerous cats were housed in various rooms of the basement, which was closed off from the upper portion of the house.
The incident report states that the ammonia smell was overwhelming and that the litter boxes were overflowing with cat waste. The report also said there was urine and feces smeared on the floor.
One cat reportedly had its head stuck behind an unused refrigerator for an unknown amount of time.
Neighbor Jack Grubb told Local 8 News he knew there were several cats next door but never imagined there were dozens.
"I think the animals would have been better off put to sleep than be put in those conditions," he said.
According to KCSO, Traore runs a local rescue organization from home. But she was advised that under Knox County Ordinance Sec. 6-34 she was not permitted to have more than five animals on her property.
Grubb said he's glad someone called to report the issue. He said he would have called had he known what was going on next door.
The cats are currently in the care of Young Williams Animal Center. They couldn't comment on the matter because they said Traore hasn't surrendered the cats. She will be responsible for all the fees associated with their care.
Traore will be cited with cruelty to animals, according to KCSO.