Newfane, N.Y. (WKBW)) - Imagine 50 to 100 cats left in a house, alone, for weeks on end.
"In the household, there was not a spot you could step without stepping in animal waste. Some rooms had feces a foot and a half to two feet deep. The odor was overwhelming and the structure of the house was dangerous to people or animals inside. The walls were so saturated with urine that the walls started collapsing," Niagara County SPCA Officer Aaron Kandefer said.
That's exactly what happened here at this abandon home on Lake Road in Niagara County. Officials said it was going on for years. Now, Officer Kandefer said they are stepping in, taking the cats to their facility to nurse them back to health.
"They have massive flea infestation, upper respiratory infection, severe dental disease, eye conjunctivitis. They are basically in deplorable states," Kandefer said.
Officials were only able to rescue eight animals on Tuesday because of the dangerous condition of the house where the cats lived. Kandefer said they will go back Wednesday and the rest of the week to save the other animals.
"We are going to continually remove the cats through humane traps so we don't place anyone in jeopardy," Kandefer said.
Kandefer said the owner would stop in to drop off food and water every couple of weeks but that's about it. He said this is not only a crime but also a mental illness.
"It would be classified as a hoarding incident and I believe it is a metal disorder, which has been recently diagnosed by the Psychiatric Association," Kandefer said.
Although no identity is being release at this time, Kandefer said they do have a person of interest who will soon be taken into custody. That person will face Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty charges.
In the meantime, their focus is on the cats and restoring their nine lives.