Hoarding: After 131 cats rescued, owner has 10 days to clean up or demolish squalid home
Video published by NJ.com on YouTube
After more than 130 cats were found in a squalid home, its owner has been given 10 days to clean up the house or demolish it, New Jersey Advance Media quoted Pitman officials saying Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Gloucester County Animal Shelter said Tuesday it desperately needs help finding homes for the cats. In an image it shared on its website and on Facebook, the shelter said it is "now very overcrowded," and offering the cats for adoption at a discounted rate of $25.
All the cats have been seen by a vet and have vaccinations, the shelter said. It can be reached at 856-881-2828 and is located at 1200 North Delsea Drive in Clayton.
The Courier-Post reported Dec. 21 that the number of cats rescued from the home kept growing after officials intervened just a few days earlier. Throughout that weekend, 121 cats had been removed, the report said; another 10 were removed on that day.
The 900-square-foot house owned by Neil and Gunnel Chadwick of North Summit Road, but was occupied by a renter, the report said. Authorities became alerted to it when a strong odor of ammonia propmpted them to investigate, it said.
In multiple reports, authorities were quoted saying the hoarding case was one of the worst they'd ever encountered — but all the cats inside lived.
The smell of ammonia and cat waste even outside was so powerful, "I don't know how the tenant wasn't deathly ill," Pitman Mayor Russ Johnson told New Jersey Advance Media earlier this month.
The case was one of two extraordinary hoarding rescues in New Jersey in December. Authorities rescued 19 cats — and found one deceased — after making their way through what an animal control officer in North Jersey also called “probably the worst case of animal hoarding I’ve ever seen.”
In that West New York home, the deceased cat was found behind a stove. Other cats had burrowed through the walls to make passageways throughout the house. Furniture was covered in urine and feces, and litter boxes overflowed for months.
The West New York home was deemed uninhabitable. Photos from that rescue are below: