More than a dozen cats rescued from a Moreno Valley woman’s property where she had allegedly kept them caged and in wretched conditions are available for adoption, officials said Tuesday.

The 16 adult cats and kittens are in need of a home, Moreno Valley Animal Shelter director Steve Fries said.

“These cats and kittens were denied the care and love they deserve, and it’s time they found responsible and gentle human companions,” Fries said. “We’re hoping the public steps forward to finally end their long ordeal.”

The felines were among 100 removed on July 1 from a house belonging to 44-year-old Kristen Gotangco in the 22000 block of La Jolla Circle, near TownGate Memorial Park.

Two dogs were also seized and sheltered.

Nearly 20 of the cats were either dead or in such dire condition that they had to be euthanized, according to Riverside County sheriff’s investigators.

Many of the cats were caged and living in filth, investigators said.

Deputies had been called to the property in response to neighbors’ complaints about a foul odor, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Veterinary staff at the Moreno Valley shelter and another facility treated the surviving cats, a number of which will not be available to adopt because they are feral, Fries said.

Those animals will be sent to rescue facilities that specialize in boarding untamed pets, according to Fries.

Gotangco is charged with 17 counts of felony animal cruelty. She is free on a $50,000 bond and is next due in court on Aug. 15.

Anyone interested in adopting her former cats was asked to contact the animal shelter at 951-413-3790, or visit the facility, located at 14041 Ellsworth St., Tuesday through Saturday.

More information is available at

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