WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An astonishing case of cat hoarding has rocked a New Jersey town.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, nearly 100 animals were removed from a small condominium in Woodbridge. Some of the cats were found dead and others were living in walls.
Richard and June Dennis said they never meant for this to happen.
“We love animals, you know. It did become out of control, we’re a little wrong, I admit it,” June Dennis said.
Hazmat crews and animal control officers removed 35 living cats and seven dead ones as about 40 more remain inside the Dennis’ condo. Officials said the hoarding situation was much worse than what they first thought.
“There’s a lot of cat urine all over the floors, on the furniture,” Tim Kennedy of the New Jersey SPCA said. “Cats are up into the rafters. There are pieces of sheet rock that have been removed.”
The agency said they received an anonymous tip last week about the cats. The Dennis’ said the problem started several months ago, but only recently got out of hand.
“My cousin lived with us. When he died, we tried to keep them going and my husband didn’t realize they were going to multiply this quick,” June Dennis said.
Richard Dennis explained, “I was just going crazy taking care of them. I’m in foreclosure, bankruptcy, all my money is spent on cat food.”
This is the fifth animal hoarding situation already this year in New Jersey. There have been cases in North Bergen, West New York, Howell and Keyport. There was also an animal hoarding situation on Bellemore, Long Island.
Warmer weather is a key factor in animal hoarding.
“The heat takes over and you can certainly smell the presence of cat urine,” Kennedy said.
There is no word yet if the couple will face any criminal charges.