YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Members of Animal Charity were back at an East Side home Friday to remove an estimated 70 cats.
They were first at the home on Early Road Thursday after an out-of-town relative reported the condition and they removed 16 cats then, but there are dozens more to go.
Wearing protective suits and masks, workers with Animal Charity tried to rescue as many of the cats and kittens as they could find.
The home is crammed with goods, debris and other items, making recovering the cats more difficult because they are actually living amid the rubble, moving in tunnels and burrows they fashioned for themselves. The home is also infested with fleas and filled with feline feces.
“Once you get four feet of trash down, you find a large piece of furniture and underneath it is where there is a bubble,” said Jane MacMurchy, a spokesperson for Animal Charity.
That “bubble” is where some of the cats were found. Kittens were rescued and there are dozens more pregnant adults.
“The stress of the situation is going to activate that – the birth process for them. We know that probably in the condition that they are, the kittens aren’t going to make it,” MacMurchy said.
Mike Durkin, chief housing code officer for the city, had a large, roll-off trash receptacle delivered so the workers could throw the trash inside to help them get to the cats.
Conditions inside are deplorable. One worker said there were cockroaches everywhere, although the cats retrieved Friday appear to be healthy. A heavy, permeating smell of cat urine hung in the air in the drive of the home.
Three people lived there. A woman has been hospitalized and two children are with relatives.
Durkin estimated it will take several days to remove all the cats safely because of all the rubble inside. He said the house will be torn down as soon as possible once the cats are gone.
One more cat has been rescued as of Monday morning, though cats are still hiding.
One of the house’s cats had three babies at the animal charity this morning.