The Monterey County SPCA rescued 20 pets Wednesday from a Pacific Grove hoarder home that was dangerously cluttered and filled with feces and urine, the agency said.
The SPCA worked with firefighters and police to rescue 18 dogs, including four puppies, and two cats from what they described were "shocking, inhumane conditions."
The rescuers found the dogs locked in three small black rooms, where the overwhelming stench of ammonia from urine made rescuers' eyes burn and caused difficulty breathing.
Pacific Grove Fire told rescuers not to return to the house without protective gear due to high levels of ammonia gas. Some of the doors in the house had to be forced open because they were blocked by deep piles of feces and trash.
The house, which was designated a historic home by the Pacific Grove Heritage Society, has since been declared uninhabitable.
The rescued pets are suffering from flea infestations, eye discharge, ear infections, hair loss, dental disease, eye trauma, overgrown toenails and overall lack of care, SPCA said. Some of them are thin and underfed.
According to Monterey County SPCA spokesperson Beth Brookhouser, this is the agency's 17th major rescue case in the past year.
The Monterey County SPCA is investigating the case and will probably hand it over to the Monterey County District Attorney's office for possible animal neglect charges.
To report animal cruelty contact the Monterey County SPCA.