Cats seized from hoarders’ house

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CAPTURING A CAT from a hoarders’ house are Chuck Wesley, holding the cat, and Beth Eck, both from the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society. The cat was injured with either a bitten off tail or gnawed off tail.

DECATUR COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER Chris Sapp is surrounded by cats, which were left in a vacated mobile home. More than 50 cats were seized from the mobile home that officials say is the worst case of animal hoarding in the county.

A CAT WALKS along the kitchen sink of the mobile home.

More than 50 cats—in various stages of health—were seized Tuesday from a mobile home that was layered inside with several inches of cat feces and other garbage.

“The trailer is an example of the most horrible, horrific mess you can ever imagine,” said Beth Eck, the director of the Humane Society’s animal shelter.

Eck and Sheriff’s Lt. Rick Ashley said this is the worst case of animal hoarding in the county they have ever encountered.

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“It’s unreal,” Eck said of the condition of the cats were living in, much less the living condition of the human residents.

Eck and Chuck Wesley with the Humane Society, as well as Decatur County animal control officer Chris Sapp and Lt. Ashley, spent part of Tuesday capturing the approximately 40 cats locked inside the singlewide mobile home, located at 261 Brinson Airbase Road. The other cats were roaming outside on the fenced-in property.

Eck said they had to scoop away feces just to open the door of the mobile home, which until approximately two weeks ago was rented to a young couple. Every room had approximately six inches of cat feces in them as well as personal items, furniture, balls of yarn and garbage scattered throughout, Eck said. Most of the personal items and furniture were stained with cat urine or feces.

One cat was found dead and another cat’s tail had been either bitten off or gnawed off, Eck said.

Seventy-five percent of the cats were friendly and were easily captured, Eck said. She said most of the cats will have to euthanized.

“I’m going to try to save as many as I can,” Eck said.

Ashley said the case is still being investigated Tuesday afternoon.

Ashley said the original call came from the landlord, who lives next to the mobile home. The landlord told authorities it had been rented to the couple for about two years. The mobile home had been vacant for about two to three weeks, and the power had been turned off on March 28.