Monday, March 31, 2014

Over 100 cats found in house of hoarding twin sisters

More than 100 cats were rescued from a home in Houston, Texas belonging to twin sisters who were living with the animals in appalling conditions. Deputies found about 130 cats – maybe more – living in a house reeking with a stench so powerful that animal rescue workers donned gas masks. Almost every surface in the home – floors, kitchen counters, tables and other furniture – was littered with cat waste. The garage was almost literally full of cat faeces, piled in mounds standing four feet high.

Living in the filthy house were 60-year-old twin sisters, both of whom appeared to be in poor health. One of them was a cancer patient, law enforcement authorities said. Neighbours said the sisters had lived in the home with their parents, both of whom died years ago. “This situation overwhelmed them, I think,” said said J.C. Mosier, assistant chief of Harris Co. Constable’s Office Pct. 1. “And it got to where they couldn’t help themselves.” Animal rescue workers spent much of Thursday afternoon hauling animals out of the home in northwest Harris County.

Many of them were emaciated and had lost hair and suffered from what Houston SPCA officials called “ocular and nasal discharge.” Mosier, a retired homicide investigator who’s worked on some of the most horrific crime scenes in Houston history, struggled for words to describe what he saw. “I’ve never seen the inside of a house look like this,” he said. “Never in my life. And I thought I’d seen a lot of things until I saw this today.” Mosier added: “There are some cats still in the house, We’re going to have to come back and work a little harder to get them, because they have burrowed into the mounds of faeces like a rat would make a tunnel into a hill.”

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Houston SPCA officials said the animals would receive medical evaluations and treatment. “We’re going to work and make sure they get into loving homes,” said Meera Nandlal, a spokesperson for the Houston SPCA. Both of the women living in the house looked confused and upset. The sister suffering from cancer was taken away in an ambulance for hospital treatment. The other woman, after a long conversation with an animal welfare worker about the condition of her cats, said she planned to stay with a niece. “They need help,” Mosier said. “I don’t know that they’ll ever be able to totally recover from what’s happened to their house. But I hope there are people who can help us help these ladies. It’s such a sad situation. It’s horribly sad.”

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