The scene inside a Greenacres townhouse might have been too extreme even for reality-TV exploitation shows such as Hoarders. After the home's owner was taken to the hospital for health problems, authorities found 45 live cats, two dead cats, and mounds of garbage inside. Officials say it might be the biggest case of animal hoarding in recent Palm Beach County history.
According to the Palm Beach Post
, the woman who owns the home suffered a medicial problem March 6 and was taken to the hospital. While recovering, she became concerned about her cats and asked that they be taken care of.
Animal care and control crews arrived to find the ghastly scene. Despite a manicured lawn, the home's interior contained dozens of cats atop large mounds of garbage amid an oppressive stench of cat urine.
"The residence was definitely one of the worst ones I've ever seen, from air-quality human-safety standpoint," Capt. David Walesky told WPBF
It took crews nearly two weeks to remove the 45 live cats, most of which had all-white fur. Because of their feral nature and health problems, all but six were euthanized. The remaining cats will be put up for adoption.
So far two dead cats have been found, but the crews suspect there might be others underneath all the refuse.
The owner is now staying at an assisted-living facility. She had apparently resorted to living on her own patio because of the conditions inside. She had placed tape over air-conditioning vents to contain the smell to her unit.