PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Authorities say dozens of cats have been rescued from a condemned trailer in Mississippi.

WLOX-TV reports emergency crews rescued 68 cats from the trailer on Tuesday and Wednesday. The felines were left to fend for themselves after their owners were hospitalized. Officials say the couple started off with four cats that continued to breed.

Jackson County Animal Shelter adoption coordinator Maridee Mallette says animal control officers had to put on hazmat suits because there was urine and feces throughout the house.

The cats were loaded into a van and taken to the Jackson County Animal Shelter. A veterinarian was to begin a health assessment of the cats Thursday.

Mallette says the rescue should serve as a reminder to spay and neuter pets.

Information from: WLOX-TV,

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