13 cats removed from 'uninhabitable' residence - Tucson News Now

13 cats removed from 'uninhabitable' residence

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More than a dozen cats, dead and alive, have been taken from a midtown home.

Tucson Police say that charges are likely for the resident.

A Tucson man cannot return to his midtown home until he makes it inhabitable enough for city inspectors to be satisfied.  Pima Animal Care seized 13 cats, five of them dead and the rest in a variety of conditions, from the house Friday.

"It's not healthy," said Pima Animal Care investigator Elaine Klein.  "It's not healthy for anybody that would be living inside this home."

Tucson Police said that someone complained about a smell coming from the home about a week ago.  Police said that person went inside to see if anyone was home and found a dead cat.  On Friday the resident was home and Pima Animal Care said that he allowed Animal Care officers inside, where they found conditions that were bad enough for the city to restrict the resident from only being in the house during they day.

"There's a lot of debris and belongings inside of the home that may get very challenging," Klein said.  "Also, one of the things we're running across is the owner has made homemade cat doors throughout the home, so cats are allowed to come inside and outside."

She said that evidence points to the cat count topping fifty and that Animal Care has left traps to try to get more of them.  The resident would not speak on camera; however, he said that he believes that the cats are worse off in cages at Animal Care than in his house.  He said that he aims to clean the house and get his cats back.

Tucson Police said that misdemeanor animal neglect charges are likely and that felony charges will be pursued if possible.  Neighbors said that they liked the resident.  Their opinions on what has happened vary from a stance that the government should not be involved inside someone's house, to a consideration that the conditions might be bad enough that they might threaten his health.

"The house does look fine from outside.  The inside is unsanitary," Klein said.

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