Woman turns 2 apartments into giant cat litter boxes - KCTV5 News

Woman turns 2 apartments into giant cat litter boxes

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A woman finally realized she had a problem and sought help from authorities.

After her cry for aid, authorities have confiscated more than 70 cats and issued the woman six misdemeanor citations.

The woman apparently once lived at the four-plexes at 8208 Everton Ave. She moved out but continued to pay rent for two apartments. Authorities say she allowed the dozens of cats and kittens to roam over the two apartments.

Up to 50 cats were in Apartment D and up to 20 cats in Apartment C.

"I didn't think it was the house," said neighbor Kim Chown. "I just thought it was one litter box (smelling bad). I was wrong."

The cat hoarder would bring food and water to the animals but provided little other care. Some of the felines have significant health issues. Some kittens are just days old and must be bottle fed.

"A lot of them are thin. The worst part is their skin. They have such bad fleas," said KC Pet Project's Crystal Baker, who is helping bottle feed the kittens. "They were in so much urine and feces that most of them are covered head to toe in scabs."

Two have died at the animal shelter.

The conditions inside the apartments were so deplorable that Kansas City firefighters had to come in and ventilate the apartments so that animal control officers could get inside.

The water bowls were dirty and litter boxes were overflowing. Flies were throughout the apartment and mice droppings could be seen.The feces were piled several feet high in some places and doors were blocked.

"Certainly that's what led to the build up of ammonia and the sadness of this situation really," city spokesman Chris Hernandez said.

Some of the cats remain hiding underneath furniture and trash in the two apartments. Animal control workers have put out traps to capture the animals, including a mother who just gave birth. Because the woman scattered bags of food throughout the house, the food inside the traps haven't been as appealing to the scared felines.

Just one cat was captured on Wednesday.

Animal hoarding unfortunately is something shelter workers deal with regularly. Typically someone lives with dozens of animals. These circumstances are unusual.

"To have them just living in a residence without anyone there and just renting the space is just incredible to me," Baker said.

The city is providing intervention services to the hoarder and the apartments have been posted as unsafe.

"The owner realized she had a problem and reached out and asked police for help, and that's what brought us to the scene originally," Hernandez said.

The KC Pet Project, which runs the city's no-kill animal shelter, is now in desperate need of food, medicine, litter, wire crates and even foster families. Donations including gift cards to area pet stores are also needed. Click here for more.

Storms knocked the shelter's power out Wednesday morning so workers had to provide care via flashlight. Staff were doing surgery when power was lost and the operation was completed via flashlight.

"No matter what, there's always going to be an animal in need and we are here for them in the dark or the heat or whatever," said Tori Fugate, spokeswoman for the shelter.

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