Updated: Sunday, 31 Jul 2011, 11:06 PM MDT
Published : Sunday, 31 Jul 2011, 11:06 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Police find 53 cats squeezed into a mobile home in the Southwest Albuquerque.
Just from looking at it a person would never know what was crawling around inside a mobile home on Central near 98th Street. Neighbors say from the outside, it smelled like death. "You could smell it as soon as the sun came out," said Albina Morra a neighbor in the Loma Vista Mobile Home Park.
She says the stench lingered throughout the neighborhood for months. Saturday night police walked inside the home and found a hoarder's mess. "There was urine all over the place; feces piled up on the appliances, on the furniture, on the floor three feet high," described Chris Ramirez, City of Albuquerque Spokesman. "They noticed that there were dozens of cats. Some of them were actually dead, and officers noticed some of the cats were feeding on the dead cats," he said.
Authorities believe the woman was hording the cats for months, and explained neighbors concerned about the smell alerted them to the problem. Morra explained she knew her neighbor had a cat, but never expected the number would top two or three. "I didn't know it was that many," she exclaimed. "53 is a lot! It's something you only see on TV."
Now the cats are staying at the Albuquerque Animal Shelter. Employees said because they were too sick to rehabilitate, all but five were put to sleep. Monday city crews will go back inside the home to make sure they got all the cats out and determine what will happen to the house.
Neighbors explained they never saw cats outside the home, and explained the woman lived alone. They said she always seemed friendly, but never had visitors.
Police have not determined if she'll be cited in this case. She is also being evaluated because they said she seemed disoriented when they showed up and was complaining of vertigo like symptoms.