SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Dozens of cats were found living in squalid conditions at two houses in Mitchell on Thursday. Many of them were taken to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society to nurse them back to health.
Brandy Smith and her son, Michael Smith, were each arrested for ten counts of cruelty to animals.
The executive director of the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, Kori Baade, said people who collect or hoard things like this need to get the necessary help.
"People try to save things, and they start out with good hearts, and it gets away from them," she said. "And then it just gets worse and worse and worse, so I do think it partially has to do with mental health."
She said many of the cats have improved in the last several days that they've spent at the humane society. They have all been medicated and vaccinated up until this point with all the conditions they had.
"They were in deplorable conditions. The ammonia in the home itself caused the animals to have their eyes crusted shut, a lot of upper respiratory problems. They're getting a lot better," Baade said.
The humane society is asking for donations from the public to help get the cats healthy. They need Purina Kitten Chow, Purina Cat Chow, fleece blankets, cat toys, and monetary donations. You can visit the society's Facebook page to donate money. The humane society is located at 3720 East Benson Road in Sioux Falls if you want to drop off items there.