DES MOINES, Iowa — The Animal Rescue League of Iowa drove two hours to northern Iowa on Wednesday to rescue 46 cats and kittens from a home that was filled with feces and the smell of ammonia.

The rescue was at a home where the residents were expecting the pets to be taken away. A team of four people made the trip.

“Once we were on scene that went pretty smooth,” said Robyn Dobernecker, of the Animal Rescue League. “Luckily it took us about three hours give or take to actually get all the cats and be able to get them back.”

Planning a rescue like this requires getting some things lined up before they go.

“When I got the information and realized the number of cats that were involved and more importantly the condition of the cats their health, we had to have the resources to be able to go in to take care of them,” said Dobernecker. “We obviously had to have a place for them and our medical staff was prepared including our vets to be able to take care of them.”

Dobernecker credited the work of Blue Pearl Vet Clinic for being ready to help treat the cats when they returned from the trip.

“They are already under treatment as you can see, the medical team was waiting upon our arrival which is pretty standard procedure at this point,” said Dobernecker. “We do this enough so we’re a pretty well oiled machine. I’m very lucky to have the support that I have here for the Animal Rescue League and all the staff members.

The cats had some cold-like symptoms, fleas and ear mites. The cats will be put up for adoption once they have recovered.

“That is the ultimate goal, they are very friendly all of them so they should be pretty easy to place once they get healthy.”

The Animal Rescue League is asking for contributions to help care for the 46 cats until they can be put up for adoption.