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70 cats found in Ogden home after resident sent to hospital for health problems, officials say

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Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 19:24:31-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Dressed in hazmat suits and braving the overwhelming stench, crews brought out cat after cat after cat.

“You walked in and there were just cats everywhere. I had this giant kennel and I reached down and started, I got like eight cats all at once,” said Stefanie Butte, Ogden City Animal Supervisor who first responded to the home.

For nearly a decade a veteran with mental disabilities has been living in a condemned Ogden home, hoarding more than 70 cats.

“I think he got in over his head and being a vet and having some of the issues he did they were his family basically,” Butte said.

The man was sent to the hospital for health problems last week. That's why a concerned family member called animal services about the cats.

Neighbors say not only is it unsafe and unsanitary, but the smell is unbearable. Canned food, litter, flies and cockroaches, overtake the yard and inside the home.

“I can't even imagine not dying from the smell in there. I don't know how you would live in it. I really don't,” Butte said.

More than 50 cats have been recovered. But animal services believe there's still dozens inside.

Some of the sick and aggressive cats will be euthanized. Most are going to the shelters.

The homeowner is still in the hospital. Animal services say it's likely the conditions in the home made the man ill.

“This will kill people and the animals will get sick and spread diseases,” Butte said.

Usually in these type of cases animal services would press charges. But due to the man’s mental state no charges will be filed.

If you want to adopt any of these cats they are at the Weber County Animal Shelter.

If you can't adopt but want to help the shelter is now in desperate need of donations. Find out how to donate at http://www3.co.weber.ut.us/animalshelter/ or visit the shelter's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Weber-County-Animal-Services/338510596207976.