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Dozens of cats removed from "deplorable" Derby home, Shelton Animal Control investigating

Officers said upwards of 45 cats were found inside the home, sitting in cat urine and feces.

SHELTON, Conn. — Dozens of cats had to be removed from a home in Derby on Monday after Shelton animal control officers said neighbors reported a horrendous smell on Hawkins Street. 

"The conditions of the house were deplorable," said Shelton Animal Control Director Leon Sylvester. 

Officers initially received a report of a complaint on April 24 of a bad smell and a cat hoarding incident at a home occupied by an elderly woman. 

When officers arrived, the woman let them into her home and that is when officers discovered upwards of 45 adult cats and kittens inside, all of which sat in cat urine and feces. 

Sylvester said some of the cats had to be put down because of how sick they became. One or two dead cats were also found. 

"It’s sad for the people too. I mean, it’s not always bad people, it’s people whose lives get away from them," added Sylvester. 

There are currently 29 adult cats at the Shelton Animal Control and all of them are recovering from a variety of illnesses.

Officers still visited the home to try and catch the remaining cats, 

"Their injuries range from severe upper respiratory, eye conjunctivitis, fleas, worms, most of them were HIV, female leukemia positive," added Sylvester. 

11 kittens were brought to the Dan Cosgrove Shelter in Branford. 

Some of them are in foster care while others are in the intensive care unit at Piper Veterinary Clinic. 

"I think after COVID happened, a lot of people had taken on animals and have become overwhelmed," said Laura Burban, director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter. 

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The elderly woman who has not been identified has been charged with ten counts of animal cruelty.

There has been a bright side to this incident. The local community has dropped off litter, newspapers, and food to make sure the cats are taken care of. 

The kittens and adult cats may still need several weeks to fully cover, but when they do, they will be up for adoption. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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