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New owner finds dozens of abandoned cats in foreclosed Coon Rapids home

Dozens of cats rescued from foreclosed home in Coon Rapids
Dozens of cats rescued from foreclosed home in Coon Rapids 02:11

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — A man planning to help flip a house found himself in the middle of a massive rescue mission. 

Nearly 80 cats were found cramped and living in filth inside a foreclosed house on the 3800 block of 122nd Avenue Northwest in Coon Rapids. 

"I've experienced some pretty rough stuff while flipping but nothing like this," Matt Lennander said. 

Handyman Matt Lennander was helping flip the foreclosed home when a cleaner alerted him about cats inside. 

"They were literally coming out of the woodwork," Lennander said. 

After searching, they found 78 cats. Some were dead inside the home. Coon Rapids police took the sickest ones, and the rest are now in the care of individuals and rescuers who stepped up after seeing Lennander's social media post

"The outpour of community help has just been insane," SNAP'T founder Sonja Larson said.

READ MORE: 2 German shepherd puppies suspected of being abandoned in Chaska

One of their fosters is temporarily holding 51 cats inside their Blaine heated garage until they get medical care and can be placed with fosters or adopters. 

"When you are dealing with a hoarding situation there is a medical and a behavioral side to it," Animal Humane Society's Director of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Graham Brayshaw said.

The Animal Humane Society is assisting the Coon Rapids Police Department in the investigation which they say, could result in criminal charges. 

"Most animal cruelty cases we see are neglect where it's really well-intentioned people that get beyond their means," Dr. Brayshaw said. 

"It was incredibly overwhelming because you just wonder how someone can live in that kind of environment or even let it get to that point... I just love animals and I couldn't let them sit in that," he said.

The cats are scattered over several different rescues. Some are looking for foster or forever families as well as donations to support their rescue efforts.

The Humane Society said it has taken in 342 animals from investigation cases like this just since the year started, which is almost a year's worth of animals in just two months. 

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