07/22/2015 10:28 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:59 EDT

Couple with at least 14 cats removed from excrement-filled Quebec City home

QUEBEC - At least 14 cats were found alive Wednesday in a Quebec City home that was soiled by excrement and urine and considered an extreme health risk because of a strong concentration of ammonia.

Earlier reports suggested that 30 felines were in the dwelling but it was impossible to know the exact number late Wednesday.

Firefighters wearing special equipment removed a man and a woman from the house on Tuesday and a spokesman later described a scene of extreme insalubrity.

The residents, who are believed to be in their 50s, were taken to hospital to undergo health tests.

It took several hours to ventilate the house so authorities could enter to remove the pets.