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 thatcharges are likely for the resident.

A Tucson man cannotreturn to his midtown home until he makes it inhabitable enough for cityinspectors to be satisfied.  Pima Animal Care seized 13 cats, five of themdead and the rest in a variety of conditions, from the house Friday.

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

Tucson Police said thatsomeone 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 deadcat.  On Friday the resident was home and Pima Animal Care said that heallowed Animal Care officers inside, where they found conditions that were badenough for the city to restrict the resident from only being in the houseduring they day.

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

She said that evidencepoints to the cat count topping fifty and that Animal Care has left traps totry 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 Carethan in his house.  He said that he aims to clean the house and get his catsback.

Tucson Police said thatmisdemeanor animal neglect charges are likely and that felony charges will bepursued if possible.  Neighbors said that they liked the resident. Their opinions on what has happened vary from a stance that the government shouldnot be involved inside someone's house, to a consideration that the conditionsmight be bad enough that they might threaten his health.

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

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