ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Carter County authorities are investigating after discovering nine cats, one of which was dead, inside a storage building.

A sheriff’s deputy and animal control officer responded to a storage facility Thursday morning on Gap Creek Road.

According to a sheriff’s office report, the owner of the facility had called 911 after discovering the cats inside one of the storage units. The owner told authorities that he cut the lock off the unit after other customers complained about the smell coming from the unit.

Inside the unit were six animal carriers, eight live cats, and one dead cat, according to the report. One of the cats escaped while the animal control officer was removing the carriers and was not located. The carriers reportedly contained about three inches of feces and no edible food or water, although there was food inside the storage unit.

According to the report, charges are pending but the suspect’s address and location are unknown.