RICHMOND, B.C. -- Numerous animals are now in the care of the Regional Animal Protection Society after being found abandoned and living among urine and feces in a home in Richmond.

A neighbour called RCMP on Friday night when they heard barking for several hours and had concerns for the welfare of the animals.

No one was home, so officers made the decision to go inside. In a news release, the RCMP said officers found the home "cluttered and disorganized," with a strong smell of urine and feces permeating the entire property.

"No one was located inside the resident, and attempts to contact the homeowner were unsucessful," the RCMP wrote.

Eyal Lichtmann, CEO at RAPS, said there were three dogs and 12 cats in a state of neglect.

“These animals had urine and feces absolutely everywhere, litter boxes were full, most of the animals were flea infested,” Lichtmann said, adding the food and water bowls also had urine and feces in them.

He believes the owners had gone overseas but haven’t been able to return due to COVID-19, so people were intermittently checking on the animals but there was “a poor job done.”

On Saturday, members of RAPS returned to the home with cages to seize the animals, but some had gone.

“There were 12 cats when we first attended the residence and there were three dogs,” Lichtmann said. “We ended up with eight cats - two adults and six kittens - and only two dogs, so we think whoever was the caretakers for the animals that were trying to help the people that were overseas, we think they may have taken some of the animals.”

Lichtmann also believes the cats were breeding and the female gave birth to two litters since being left alone.

The animals are now in the care of RAPS and are said to be in good condition. 

"They still need some healthcare but they’re in a safe environment and getting all the love that they need,” Lichtmann said.

Richmond RCMP are now investigating and the City of Richmond may also issue fines for having too many animals in the home.

The BC SPCA said there hasn't been an increase in animals being abandoned because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lorie Chortyk with the group added they have “significantly increased” their pet food bank outreach to help keep pets and families together.

Lichtmann said if it weren’t for the neighbour calling the RCMP Friday night, the animals could have been left for much longer. He’s urging people to keep an eye out for abandoned animals in their neighbourhood.