BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — Manatee County Animal Welfare officers said they rescued 28 cats from unsafe conditions in a Bradenton home.

Officers said the owner died in the house and believed they had been hoarding cats.

The Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue Hazmat team tested the air quality inside and found it was almost seven times beyond the safe limit. Officers had to wear protective gear to go inside, including respirators.

Over several days, MCAW said they took the 28 cats from the home. They said they will continue to go back to the house as they believe there are about 20 more cats hiding in the ceiling and walls. The cats ranged from newborn kittens to 10 years old.

Officers said the cats were taken to the Bishop Animal Shelter for medical care and to get them ready for adoption.

With the shelter over capacity, the MCAW is waiving adoption fees for cats and kittens through July 31.

Anyone who suspects a neighbor may be hoarding, abusing or neglecting animals can call a MCAW officer at 941-742-5933 ext.1, and they can perform a pet welfare check.