It’s hard for one to fathom a dozen cats in one home, let alone 60. Still, it was 60 cats (and two dogs) that authorities forcibly removed from a Wolcott, Connecticut, residence. The homeowner in question, who has yet to be identified, claimed to be running an animal shelter. Police are calling it a blatant case of “animal hoarding.”
— Josh Scheinblum (@joshshiney) October 17, 2015
According to a report by WTNH, it was a series of complaints by neighbors that led to the raid on Friday night. Sgt. Patrick Malloy told the station that those who lived near the Connecticut home complained about a foul odor. Also, there were claims that bags filled with cat feces surrounded the residence. After weeks of complaints, stretching back into September, local authorities decided to act.
Police served the homeowner with a warrant as part of their animal hoarding investigation. What they found were dozens of cats living in what Mallory described as “deplorable conditions.”
“The inside of the home is pretty deplorable… I would say it’s unlivable at this time.”
If such a home is unlivable for humans, it’s definitely no place for cats or dogs. The Connecticut residence was emptied of an incredible 60 cats over the course of the evening. There were so many animals to remove, Animal Control officials from nearby towns were called in to help with the lengthy process.
Sadly, because of the terrible living conditions, certain cats were visibly in bad shape. Some were dehydrated, underweight, or diseased. WCVB reports that all of the pets rescued from the home will undergo a more thorough exam in the near future.
The most bizarre find? A dead cat found in a freezer, frozen solid. Animal control officials do not believe that the pet owner killed the animal. Instead, it was likely euthanized at some point. Still, the act of holding onto the dead animal in such a way makes a strong case that this individual was exhibiting classic hoarder behaviors.
Despite the homeowner’s allegedly good intentions, the person might be in serious trouble. Connecticut authorities are reportedly weighing whether or not to charge the individual with animal cruelty. Given how many animals were on the property, that could mean hefty fines.
60 cats, 2 dogs removed from Wolcott home http://t.co/2zxdalhKKp pic.twitter.com/dYJjc1CXgD
— Animal Concerns (@AnimalConcerns1) October 18, 2015
It’s important to note that hoarding is a disorder where a person has an unusual attachment to items or animals, and an inability to throw away things. In this case, the failure to stop “collecting” cats, which were clearly too many to properly care for. Such persons often exhibit extreme emotional distress at the idea of departing with whatever they’re hoarding. Although cats aren’t too unusual an animal for such people to accumulate, often hoarders tend to collect old newspapers, magazines, or other various types of paper items.
Sometimes it’s objects that have sentimental value, items that harken back to a time when things in the hoarder’s life were secure and happy. The act of gathering those animals or things could be compulsive or a deliberate attempt to create a “happy environment.” Often what results over time is a living condition that is often unhealthy and possibly even deadly.
Such persons often need treatment to cope with their hoarding behaviors. Unchecked, it’s highly possible the individual in question will just begin the hoarding cycle all over again. Hopefully, that will not be the case, and everyone involved — humans, cats, and dogs — will move on from this situation healthier.
What do you think of this unusual case of 60 cats in one home in Connecticut: should an obvious hoarder be charged with animal cruelty or should the person be given help? Comment with your thoughts below.
[Image Credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images]