Authorities walked into a “horror show” Sunday, when a 70-year-old Philadelphia man was found unconscious in home among dead and live cats, bats, mice, human waste, and trash that reached the ceiling.
Seven cats — four of them dead — were removed from the Bickley Street home Sunday, the Pennsylvania SPCA said. It was unclear whether the rescued animals would be able to be adopted out to new families. The group returned to the home Monday to rescue more animals.
“This is probably the worst we’ve ever seen,” said PSPCA spokeswoman Wendy Marano. She added that officers were trying to remove any remaining animals from the home, which is in the Bustleton section of North Philadelphia, and bring them to the shelter to treat them for illnesses.
“We had tons and tons, buckets and buckets and buckets and buckets and buckets of cat feces everywhere at this property,” George Bengal, director of investigations for the PSCPA, told Fox 29. “I have been doing this job 20 years and I keep saying that every one of these houses that I go in possibly the worst I have seen. This is at the top of the list.”
Apparently the man had fallen and called a relative for help, and that person then called 911. Firefighters arrived at the foul-smelling home around 4:45 pm and said that the man appeared to be living there alone with the animals. He was rushed to Nazareth Hospital, and was reported to be in fair condition Monday.
Workers wore Hazmat suits to protect themselves from the toxic conditions of the home, which has since been condemned. Before it can be demolished, however, it will need to be bombed with flea spray. The home had only one working light and no air conditioning.
The man, who has not been named because he hasn’t been charged, will probably face numerous charges of animal cruelty, Bengal said.