One House, 83 Cats

House Has Since Been Condemned

The Humane Society of Weld County is now dealing with even more cats and kittens from a single home.

Officers were first called to the home on 16th Avenue in Greeley in June when the resident, 85, was hospitalized.

Animal control officers removed 60 cats from the home.

Traps were set up outside. Since then, animal control has captured more than a dozen cats, and they expect to trap more.

Elaine Hicks with the Humane Society of Weld County told 7NEWS two of the rescued cats have since had kittens, bringing the total number of cats from that home to 83. Six of the cats have passed away.

Neighbor Kayla Gardner told 7NEWS residents living near the home had called to complain about a bad smell coming from the house.

Another neighbor, Betta Locke, said the woman was trying to get rid of some of the cats.

"But people would keep dropping off cats. In one week and a half period, someone dropped off 12 cats in a day," said Locke. "She felt overwhelmed."

"It smelled really bad, especially when it got hot," said next-door neighbor David Jaramillo.

He said he's been frustrated with the city's lack of action.

"Because our neighbors over here have been trying to get hold of somebody for a couple of years, and nothing has been done. We tried calling and got no answers, no replies," he said.

This is the second animal hoarding case in Greeley in a year.

Hicks said because of recent budget cuts, several Weld County cities don't have the resources they need to manage the pet population.

In the last year, Greeley has cut its animal control officers from four to two, and the nearby city of Evans completely cut its budget for impounding cats.

"Without the checks and balances and spaying and neutering, there are going to be hundreds of thousands of cats just roaming the city," said Hicks.

Many of the cats in the recent hoarding case were feral.

Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said his department is looking into whether they should add more animal control officers, but he doesn't think the recent hoarding case was a result of too few officers.

He said the city is going to look into how to better address hoarding.

"Sometimes there isn't the communication that you want between the agencies, so that's what we're looking at, is tying the agencies together," said Garner

The house has been condemned by city building inspectors. Neighbors said the woman has moved into a nursing home.

To adopt one of the many cats, visit the Humane Society of Weld County.