SOMERSET, N.Y. (WIVB) - Authorities have condemned a house literally crawling with cats. The SPCA went in to rescue dozens of cats, but they quickly left after what they found inside.
Cats were everywhere, according to Special Agent Aaron Kandefer. At least 50 filled the Somerset home on Lake Road.
"I knew this was a hoarding situation. It's not the worst house I've ever seen, but it was definitely in the top 10," Kandefer said.
Each cat, police say, was crawling with fleas. Their coats were matted and their ears riddled with infection.
Standing outside the home, whenever you're hit by a gust of wind, you are instantly overcome by the smell of ammonia and the smell of feces that animal control officers say was piled two to three feet high inside. The windows have a "tot finder" sticker, meaning that at one point, a child was living at the home.
Kandefer said, "They deemed themselves an animal rescue group and they were taking in animals thinking they were helping them out and it appears they got severely overwhelmed."
Steve Brown lives down the block. He says the house has been empty for a while, but there's been anger about the stray cats inside.
He said, "I think there's tension between the two neighbors, the neighbor to the west of the cat house just for that very reason they want to sell their home and they can't because of the eyesore next door."
"The house is so saturated with urine and feces that the walls ceiling and floors are collapsing on themselves," Kandefer said.
With such dangerous conditions, crews were only able to remove eight cats before building inspectors condemned the house, saying it is unfit for any human to be inside.
Investigators say charges haven't been filed in this case, but they know who is responsible. If they can be found, police say they will be arrested.
As for the cats, crews are hopeful they can be adopted.
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