Nearly 200 cats were removed from a home in Oakland County in what officials are calling "the largest animal hoarding case" in the county's history.
Animal control officers removed 178 cats from the home in the 1700 block of Elsie Drive in West Bloomfield Township from April 24 through May 17.
Of those cats, 60 had to be euthanized because of severe illness or aggression, the county said.
“This is the worst animal hoarding case I have seen in my entire career,” Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center Manager Bob Gatt said. “These cats were living in deplorable conditions. They were not provided with the adequate care necessary to maintain good health.”
The Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center will seek animal neglect and abuse charges against the homeowner.
"Many of the cats that were removed from the house were suffering from a variety of health issues including upper respiratory infections, fleas, skin infections, ear mites, and malnutrition. A number of female cats have also given birth since arriving at the shelter," the county said.
One of the animal control officers responded to the home on April 24 to perform a welfare check on cats believed to be abandoned inside.
"Looking through the home’s windows, she spotted at least a half-dozen cats who appeared to be somewhat ill and left with no food and water in unsanitary living conditions," the county said.
The officer obtained a search warrant to remove the cats, but when they entered the house they discovered more than 100 cats.
Additional officers were called to the home to assist with removing the cats. By 2 a.m. on April 25, animal control officers had removed 63 cats from the home.
The shelter obtained an additional search warrant later that day to continue removing cats from the home.
On April 26, the homeowner relinquished ownership of all the cats inside the home to the shelter. She also consented to the shelter continuing to remove cats from the home, the county said.
"As of May 17, there appeared to be no cats left inside the home. Out of an abundance of caution, animal control officers set additional traps on May 20 in case there are any other cats hiding in the home," the county said.
The shelter will turn the case over to the county prosecutor's office who will determine if charges are warranted.
If you would like to adopt one of the cats, contact OakGov.com/PetAdoption.