“Animal House” Full of Cats and Trash

Humane officers say cats dug tunnel in trash to get around home

Update: Mom got help for her daughter. Workers spent all day pulling trash out of the house. About half the cats had been caught. Traps were set for the rest.

On Thursday, the story of the house and the trash and the cats started to look like Philly's version of Grey Gardens.

A mother and daughter lived in the home. Mom is in her 80's and the daughter in her 60's. The mother told the PSPCA that her daughter had been collecting the cats and that she'd finally gotten an order signed to get her daughter psychiatric care. The daughter is in Friends Hospital and the mother is staying with a neighbor.

Workers for L&I were on the scene all day, pulling trash out of windows, raking trash out of the house. The goal was to get the cats out, board the house up and have it condemned.

As the PSPCA wrapped up it's day on Thursday, they'd removed a total of 13 cats. The mom told them about 30 cats were inside the home and that some had collars. The PSPCA said they may belong to other people.

PSPCA humane officers were tasked with the dirty duty of fishing through mounds of trash, 6-foot high in some places, at a home in Kensington to retrieve dozens of cats that were being collected by the homeowner.

Agents were called to the house on Braddock Street Wednesday after the homeowner’s mother told police that her daughter was suffering from mental problems and was taking in cats.

PSPCA officer Wayne Smith said there were about 30 cats inside the home and likened it to a landfill.

"It's like the city dump. It’s just like a landfill, smells like it. If you’ve ever been to a landfill, all that’s missing is the seagulls," Smith told NBC10’s Mike Strug.

They believe the woman collected the trash right off the street. To get around the home, the cats dug a tunnel that allowed them to move from the front room to the kitchen.

Some of the felines are believed to be strays from the neighborhood.

"Some of them have flea collars on so it’s pretty much probably strays off the street. I know a lot of the homeowners around here are probably missing cats…they’re probably right up in here. The others are pretty much feral, they won’t come nowhere near us," Smith said.

Officers were not able to get all of the cats out of the house Wednesday night, so they will return Thursday to try again.

The woman who collected the trash and felines was taken for psychiatric evaluation.

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