200 dead cats found in home leads to Iowa man’s arrest

DES MOINES — Police have arrested a man in connection with hundreds of cats found in a central Iowa home.

Authorities arrested Dennis Carlson, 65, around 4 p.m. Tuesday. He was charged with five counts of animal neglect and three counts of failure to dispose of a dead animal.  

Animal feces and hundreds of live and dead house cats littered the inside of one central Iowa home, animal advocates revealed Tuesday night. 

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa reported on its Facebook page that 100 living cats and about 200 dead cats were taken from multiple buildings at an undisclosed personal address Tuesday.

“Dozens of cats were pressed up against open windows, trying to get fresh air,” the posts reads.

“Air quality levels inside the house are so toxic that ARL rescuers are required to wear respirators and protective suits and are only allowed in the house for 30 minutes at a time.”

The ARL said cat feces  and garbage nearly covered the interior of the home, including the kitchen counters.

Dead cats filled refrigerators and freezers, lying next to the owner’s food.   

“This is by far the worst hoarding case ARL Iowa has seen in more than 10 years. It’s absolutely horrendous,” Tom Colvin, the ARL’s CEO, said in the Facebook post. “We were already over capacity prior to this rescue with more than 1,100 cats in our care, so we are going to need a lot of help from the public with this one.”

The rescue continues Tuesday night and more information will be available tomorrow, the post states, and donations to the organization can be made here. 

Follow Tyler Davis on Twitter @TDavisDMR

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