BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Nearly 50 cats are now in the custody of a Washington County animal society Monday after Bartlesville residents discovered an extreme case of cat hoarding and inbreeding at a neighbor's abandoned home.
Washington County's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was so inundated with processing the animals, some of the cats are still in the house.
Fourty-four have been received thus far -- the most the shelter has ever accepted at one time, according to the SPCA's interim director.
The homeowner, an elderly woman who reportedly admitted to having a problem, allegedly left the residence in December but would return to feed the animals.
Many of the cats have six toes, which veterinarians say is the result of inbreeding. That particular mutation is often made by design and is the defining attribute of Hemingway cats, named after author Ernest Hemingway.
Last year, animal control rescued 20 cats from the woman's home, but admits to not checking back in with her. They also said no charges are expected to be filed because the woman surrendered the animals herself.
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The SPCA, who says none of the cats have diseases, are hoping all the animals will soon be adopted.