By AMY LINDBLOM
First, Kirk and Helen Lund's legal problems involved their children, their 16 dogs and alleged drug dealing.
Now cats 20 or more are adding to the Chinese Camp couple's troubles.
On Nov. 8, the Lunds were arrested and booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale and maintaining a house for selling methamphetamine. That same day, Child Welfare Services took their children.
On Nov. 14, Tuolumne County Animal Control officers seized 16 Queensland heeler dogs found in the two separate houses the Lunds and their children had lived in.
The buildings one a former motel, the other a schoolhouse were filled with debris, garbage and dog feces, officials have said.
Wednesday, at a post-seizure hearing for the dogs, Assistant County Administrator Craig Pedro bowed to Helen Lund's pleas to allow her mother, Helen Perry of Denair, to care for five of the impounded dogs.
Perry has a kennel license allowing for 10 dogs.
Yet, when Stanislaus County Animal Services Director Michael Rodriguez checked Wednesday afternoon to see how many dogs were at the Perry residence, he found 10 dogs already living there.
Additionally, he found at least 20 cats living in what he called "deplorable" conditions inside a two-story tank house on the Perry property.
Rodriguez said the cats were stuck inside the structure, which also held a cat feces "multiple inches deep" and a horrible smell.
"We think there are about 20 cats, but the cats were not real sociable and some were hiding in the walls and ceiling," he said Friday.
There are plans to remove the cats and Perry is cooperating, Rodriguez said. He also said the cats were being fed.
The Lunds' defense attorney, Patrick Greenwell of Sonora, said the couple still wants to take five Queensland heelers down to Perry's house as soon as five dogs in Perry's care are returned to their owners.