WALES — Police and a team of animal rescuers went into a house on Ridge Road this week and removed 83 cats and kittens from the home.

Police who went to the farmhouse at 222 Ridge Road described a scene where cats climbed on the walls and even the ceilings as animal control agents scrambled to round them up.

A few of the cats fled into nooks behind the walls, police said, and could not be captured.

Agents and control officers from the Maine Animal Welfare Program went to the home early Tuesday after receiving reports of a large number of animals living inside the house. State and local animal control officers were joined at the scene by officers from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department and spent roughly five hours chasing down cats and kittens in various parts of the house.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Animal Welfare Program headed the operation. Jim Britt, a spokesman from that group, said all of the cats captured were taken to a local animal shelter where they were being evaluated and treated for any medical issues found.

Britt on Thursday said the investigation was ongoing and that he could not release further details about the operation.

Police said an elderly man and his grown daughter live together in the large farmhouse, not far from the intersection at Route 126. Neither was charged and their names were not released.

Investigators did not say what prompted them to secure the warrant, although seizures of cats are generally conducted in cases where the health of animals and/or people are in jeopardy.

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