NEWALLA, Okla. - Oklahoma County deputies responded to a disturbing case out of Newalla.
A 10-year-old boy, who has autism, is now in protective custody after teachers at his school said he was defecating and throwing up on himself.
That led DHS and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office to the child’s home.
The family lives in a mobile home at Acorn Acres. When deputies came knocking, they found more than 30 cats and foul living conditions...conditions so bad, even our crews had trouble getting near the building.
Deputies found 37 cats crammed inside the home.
"Even our deputies, when they walked in there, said the smell was overwhelming and made their eyes water. There were feces all over the house. I can't imagine what a family must be going through to live in this situation," said Mark Opgrande, spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.
The animals are being rescued with the help of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue and the Bella Foundation.
"Cats just constantly reproduce, so these 37 could've came from one mom within just a few years," said Traci Neasbitt, with the Bella Foundation.
School officials at Nicoma Park Intermediate School contacted DHS about one of their students on Monday.
"The school was worried about this 10-year-old's welfare," said Opgrande.
According to the report, the child had been out sick. Even after returning to school, teachers say he was defecating and throwing up on himself.
Worried about his living conditions, deputies were called to this trailer, where they discovered the unfit living conditions.
"Sometimes people get into situations where they just start spiraling out of control, and they can't get help, so what we need them to do is to ask for help. Ask your friends, ask your neighbor's," said Opgrande.
The boy's mother, Lisa Ann Ferdinando, and another relative, Tiffany Marie Rusgrove, are both facing child neglect charges.
Animal rescuers are now begging the public to spay and neuter their pets, and to ask for help in desperate situations.
"You don't want those kids to grow up thinking that's the conditions that they should live in,” said Natalee Cross, with Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue.
NewsChannel 4 did speak to the owner of Acorn Acres, who said he was surprised to hear about the family’s living conditions. He said he has helped deliver groceries to the family’s home and even mowed their lawn.
He said, from now on, he’s going to pay more attention.