But reports say two women have been charged with animal abuse in connection to the case. Maggie Johnson and her daughter, Donna Johnson, are both accused of hoarding hundreds of cats.
Local TV station, KSBW reports that Donna Johnson, 46, has been charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty and three misdemeanor counts of animal neglect. Maggie Johnson, 79, has also been charged with three misdemeanor counts of animal neglect.
On July 24, SPCA officers searched two Seaside properties. That’s where they uncovered the tragic scene.
“No live kittens were found,” SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser told KSBW.
SPCA Sgt. Stacy Sanders went on to tell the station: “The cats were living in extremely horrible conditions. They were separated into two groups and locked into rooms with little to no ventilation.”
The animals were immediately brought to the SPCA’s local shelter. That’s where staff members worked late into the night providing emergency medical care. Despite their efforts, three cats could not be saved and died.
The case set off angry reaction on social media sites like Twitter. It put a spotlight on hoarders across the country because hoarding activity was blamed for the horrid conditions these cats faced.
Ian Solmerhader, star of The Vampire Diaries tweeted:
if you know a hoarder-pls report them.This is crazy! huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/cat…
— ian somerhalder (@iansomerhalder) August 25, 2012
Maggie and Donna Johnson are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 11.