HOWELL — A visit from a New Jersey Natural Gas representative led to the discovery of 50 cats inside a cluttered house.

Monmouth County SPCA executive director Ross Licitra updated the number on Wednesday and told New Jersey 101.5 only one cat was found dead. Investigators are still in the house looking for additional cats.

Howell police and the Monmouth County SPCA charged Ivan Sevastianow, 61, when they  found the house on East 3rd Street home full of clutter, feces and cats both dead and alive, according to Licitra in a story first reported by

(Monmouth County SPCA)

Police and fire crews were initially called by the utility worker to the home in the Freewood Acres section because of a strong odor of gas.

Several surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution, according to Howell police.

The home was inspected and determined to be safe.

Sevastianow was arrested and charged. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Licitra said the cats were taken to the SPCA's Eatontown shelter and the Associated Humanities shelter in Tinton Falls. Staff and volunteers will examine the cats and put them up for adoption.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ


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