A woman living in upstate New York was recently found to have 67 dead cats stored in her freezer.
According to reports, rescue workers had to use ventilation masks in order to enter the home. On top of the 67 dead felines, more than 100 were found to be alive but in very poor condition. They were removed for further evaluation to be done at local animal shelters.
The woman, Irene Vandyke, originally resisted authorities but eventually allowed them to enter her home. The home was filled with cat crates stacked from floor to ceiling. The crates, where some of the cats were kept, were filled with cat urine and feces. The home was condemned by local authorities who deemed it “unfit for human occupancy.”
Vandyke, who appears to fit the profile of a compulsive hoarder, has not yet been charged with any crimes. She is undergoing further mental evaluation. Charges could be brought at a later time. She currently has 2 weeks to make the house habitable.
In 2012, authorities said they found 113 dead kittens in an apartment believed to belong to a cat hoarder, and dozens of ailing adult cats were discovered in a nearby house.
None of the dead kittens appeared to be more than two months old, they said.
Seaside police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County
discovered the animals.
Officers were alerted by a property manager who discovered dead kittens during an inspection.
They received another tip that more cats were moved to a nearby house.
There, another group of investigators found 51 adult cats that were alive but sick and neglected.
“The cats were living in extremely horrible conditions,” Sanders said. “They were separated into two groups and locked into rooms with little to no ventilation. The floors were saturated in urine and feces.”
Officers stayed about six hours to recover all the cats because an occupant in the house had lost count of how many were there.
“We had to go through every nook and cranny, pull apart every bed and chair,” Sanders said.
SPCA staff members treated the surviving cats, which were in stable condition. SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said most of those animals had respiratory infections, parasites and broken teeth. Two underwent emergency surgery for potentially life-threatening uterus infections. At least five were pregnant.
“It definitely makes you go home and kind of hug your animals a little tighter at night,” said Sanders, who has a dog and a cat.
No arrests were made or citations issued.