updated 8/22/2007 10:50:21 AM ET 2007-08-22T14:50:21

Authorities euthanized dozens of sickly cats found in a cockroach-infested apartment shared by an elderly woman and her adult daughter, officials said.

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Police found 76 unhealthy cats and four dead ones in the women’s apartment when they arrived to mediate a dispute with a downstairs neighbor, Officer Jackie Bezart said Tuesday. She said the two women were being held for psychiatric evaluation.

Neighbor Mary Cuevas told KCAL-TV that cockroaches had swarmed from the women’s apartment into her own unit.

“I was at my wits end about this, so I yelled out my window that they were filthy pigs,” she said. “And so they called the police and said I was harassing them.”

Lt. Michelle Quigley of the city’s animal control department, which was called to remove the cats, said responding officers found “bags and bags of just trash and defecation, urine, insects, floor-to-ceiling.”

All but two of the cats had to be euthanized.

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