Ernest Anthony Ford was caring for more than a hundred cats. He turned his home into a make-shift rescue operation. It was his passion, up until the day he died.
Madera County Animal Services says he didn't have the proper resources or permit to run it. Animal Services Director, Kirston Gross said, "he certainly loved these animals and took care of them the best he could but there's a limit to what one can do and do it well."
Sheriff's Deputies found Ford's body in his backyard last week and say he died from natural causes. His animals had plenty of food and water but not all of them were healthy.
"he's got some that were sick, some that need medical care and some deceased animals we found in bags in the back," Gross said.
The Cat House on the Kings near Parlier showed up to rescue 45 cats from the home.
Armando Solis said, "we take care of 700 cats already so 45 is just another drop in the bucket."
Inside the home there were at least 60 cats still in need of a home. For now, they'll go to the county shelter. A place with very little room as it is. Gross is hoping people will step up and adopt them.
"The shelter is maximized with other animals coming in so this is going to be a tremendous challenge for Madera County."
The County also rescued several dogs from the home. The sick and injured animals had to be put down.
You can help the shelter by dropping off a donation or by adopting one of the rescued animals.