Like something out of a horror film, Putnam County SPCA workers found 61 cats living in filth along with dead cats who had been partially eaten in a Kent home after the owner was taken to the hospital by Kent Police.
The cats were found on Tuesday after Town of Kent Police officers notified the agency of the living conditions inside the home at 14 Kent Acres Court, said SPCA Chief Ken Ross.
Once the organization was aware of the situation they had to obtain a search and seizure warrant from the courts in order to go inside and try and recover the cats, Ross said.
Once inside the home, SPCA workers found a total of 57 adult and young adult cats, four kittens, and the nine dead cats inside.
"The conditions inside the residence were extremely deplorable, unfit for both human and animal existence," Ross said. "And, with the temperatures in the 90s, the temperatures inside the home were over 100 degrees. It was horrible."
Wearing Tyvek suits and respirators, the SPCA officers found cat urine soaked floors, feces-strewn throughout the home, no available food or clean water for the animals and thick acrid ammonia-filled air.
They also found partially cannibalized bodies of deceased cats in different areas of the home, Ross added.
"It's very traumatic for both the workers and the animals," he said. "It's extremely difficult to capture the cats amid those conditions."
The cats were removed from the residence and were immediately transported to the Westchester Animal Hospital in Mount Vernon. Due to the extreme severity of their conditions, five cats passed away overnight while being treated and three were humanely euthanized, Ross said.
The majority of the cats are currently being cared for by Rescue Right Inc., which is an animal rescue group based out of Northwind Kennels in Bedford.
"The sad thing is this is a mental illness and the owner will probably think he is the only one who can care for the cats and was doing the right thing," Ross said.
Animal cruelty charges are pending for the resident once he is released from the hospital. If found guilty, the owner faces up to a year in jail and $1,000 for each count of animal cruelty, Ross added.
Anyone who would like to donate towards the care of the animals can visit Rescue Right Inc at http://www.rescueright.org/ or the Putnam County SPCA at http://www.spcaputnam.org/donations to help support the continued work of the SPCA.
Report animal cruelty crimes in Putnam County to the Putnam County SPCA 24 Hour Hotline at 845-520-6915.
The Putnam County SPCA receives no funding from the state, federal government or national animal welfare agencies like the ASPCA or HSUS.