The cats were saved. But the house was condemned.
Garden City police and the Michigan Humane Society rescued 32 abandoned felines Thursday from a home in the 6000 block of Silvio in Garden City. The animals were living in what both groups described as “horrible conditions.”
A photo of one room alone showed a half-dozen litter boxes overflowing with so much cat feces that the floor was barely visible.
It may have been a case of what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals calls animal hoarding, a situation where someone tries to care for more pets than he or she can handle and often involves mental health concerns.
“In the majority of cases, animal hoarders believe they are helping their animals and deny this inability to provide minimum care,” according to the ASPCA. However, the society adds, “not everyone who has multiple animals is an animal hoarder.”
It was unclear from authorities how the cats got into the house or whether anyone was still living in it. Police said, “investigators are continuing to gather evidence to bring appropriate charges against the responsible person in this matter.”
The homeowner — who authorities did not identify — has a history of violating the city code by having too many pets in the home, police said. But, each violation, police said, was corrected by the time inspectors made a follow-up visit.
This time, however, neighbors said the homeowner began covering windows in February to prevent anyone from looking into the home, and the situation got out of hand.
The rescue, police said, unfolded over at least a couple of days.
Neighbors, who had video and photos that they said were taken from inside the home, alerted police to the situation that there were “numerous cats inside” living in “extremely unsanitary conditions.”
Detectives asked the humane society to assist in rescuing the cats.
Together, they got a search warrant through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. A humane society field services team removed the cats from the home in kennels to the humane society’s Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit.
Veterinarians are examining them and then they will be put up for adoption.
The home, which was deemed unfit for human habitation, has been condemned. The police department and humane society added that they will revisit the home soon to make sure that no cat was left behind.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or email@example.com.
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