Eleven cats rescued from a Killeen apartment complex were euthanized to protect other animals at a local shelter, Killeen police said Monday.

In a press release, Killeen Police Department Spokesperson Ofelia Miramontez said the cats and two dogs were discovered during the evacuation of the Village West Apartments at 424 Gilmer Street on Tuesday, August 1 following a fire.

After a sweep of the building, Killeen firefighters advised Animal Control staff that the animals had not been harmed by the fire, but that the apartment was infested with insects.

According to the media release, the animals appeared to have health issues, including discharge from their eyes. The owner confirmed that the cats had been sick, and that her apartment was infested with bed bugs. Animal control staff later discovered that two cats placed in a truck had carried bed bugs to the vehicle.

Before the animals were sent to a shelter, a pest control expert recommended the use of Permethrin to kill the bed bugs, but warned that a bed bug infestation would warrant the evacuation of the shelter. A local veterinarian advised against the use of Permathrin, as it would be harmful to the animals.

According to Miramontez, the cats were placed in an isolation room, and efforts were made to contact local rescue groups to relieve the overcrowding. When those efforts proved unsuccessful, a shelter supervisor made the decision to euthanize the cats by IV in order to protect the other animals in the shelter.

Police did not say what became of the two dogs.

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