SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A total of 20 cats have now been removed from a filthy home in Clay Township that is being condemned for unsanitary conditions.
Not all of the cats found inside the home on Ida Street—were found alive.
There has been a gruesome development in the case that could carry criminal consequences. “We found a carrier that we thought only contained one deceased animal left inside but there were actually three kittens left inside a carrier that had been eating each other because they had been starving to death left inside a carrier within the home,” said Assistant Director Genny Carlson with the St. Joseph County Humane Society. “There's one that's missing its whole paw because it’s eaten off and then there is another one where his skull was partially eaten through so it’s very morbid.”
The prosecutor’s office has been informed of the latest developments in the case.
Meantime, neighbors were shocked to learn just how bad the situation was.
Some are intent on seeing the residence demolished.
“It's got to go. I'm sorry you know, it stinks, I can't open my north windows, she can't open her south windows, I mean man it’s terrible especially it’s not even warm yet so. Wait until it gets 95 degrees then,” said neighbor Kent Clark.
Up to this point, the house has been condemned, which means no one is allowed to live there. That does not mean the home must be demolished.
Police were first called to the home on Monday after neighbors became concerned about the welfare of the owner.
On Monday, the owner spoke to NewsCenter 16, saying that he no longer lived in the home, but returns often to feed the animals.
A total of 17 live cats have now been removed from the home and most of those appeared to be well fed and healthy.
The search for animals has been hampered by the condition of the home. “There’s holes in the floor, there are holes in the wall, there are holes in the ceiling and today we were back again taking a look,” said Carlson.