More than two dozen cats, two chinchillas and a ferret were rescued Wednesday from an abandoned home in Penrose, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

"Due to the filthy conditions (accumulated feces and urine) inside the residence, officers had to suit up in haz-mat suits and breathing apparatus before entering the residence," sheriff's Capt. Don Pinover said in a news release.

All of the animals, some of which appeared to have medical problems, were relinquished to the Colorado Humane Society by the unidentified property owner, who could face charges after a review by the district attorney's office, Pinover said.

A deputy went to the home in the 200 block of Garden Drive on Aug. 13 after neighbors reported the homeowner had moved and left numerous animals behind, he said.

"The foul odor coming from the house could be detected from the street when the deputy arrived," Pinover said in the news release.

The deputy didn't locate the homeowner until the next morning.

"The homeowner would not allow the deputy to enter the house, but she did remove 23 Chihuahuas from the house and voluntarily transported them to the Fremont County Humane Society," Pinover said.

The homeowner told the deputy there were only a few wild cats in the house and that she would try to trap them. The woman later gave permission for the humane society to remove the remaining animals.


Contact Daniel J. Chacon 476-1623