Two people have been arrested in Myrtle Beach after 25 cats were found in deplorable conditions, according to a police report.
Debra Goulding, 54, and William Goulding, 51, were arrested Sunday and are charged with Abandoning/Mistreating Animals.
Myrtle Beach police officers were called to Highway 15 on October 25 for a report of around 30 cats left in a possibly abandoned trailer with with feces up to six inches thick in places.
When they arrived, officers approached the front door and immediately smelled a "pungent odor" from the house so strong it caused them to "gag and turn away to get a breath," according to the report.
The report said when officers entered, they saw cat feces caked on everything and all surfaces. They said between 10 to 15 cats scattered. One had an obvious eye infection and one kitten was so sick it couldn't run off, police said.
They found a dead kitten on the couch. They also noticed an obviously pregnant cat that had both eyes closed because of an infection, according to the report.
Officers gathered 12 cats, then got search warrants to return to the home and gather the rest. In all, they got 25 cats out of the trailer and 2 deceased cats, according to police.
Officers discovered a room in the trailer that did not smell like the rest of the place and was "obviously current living quarters for the residents," according to the report.
All the cats were taken to the Grand Strand Humane Society. 14 of them were deemed too sick to be treated and they were euthanized.
The remaining 11 cats are getting treatment.
Grand Strand Humane Society Director Sandy Brown explained that when so many animals are brought in all at once, that created a strain not only on the staff but on the other animals at the shelter. Many animals had to be moved to make room.
"They are in an office. We don't have any place else to put them, which also caused more animals to be in our lobby, more animals in our sitting room, more medication, more food, more litter, more salaries, they are just stacked on top of each other."
Brown added that this is the third hoarding case in 18 months to impact the shelter.
"It starts as a warm-hearted gesture and then it just gets overwhelming, out of hand and the animals suffer."
Debra and William Goulding's bond was set Monday at $7,074, $262 for each of the 27 cats that were living in their home.
The couple will be tried in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday.