Neighbors: man hoarding 78 cats, meant well


POSTED: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 9:32pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 9:35pm

Seventy-eight cats and possibly more, were living at a central El Paso home until the city seized them Thursday.

The odor became so unbearable, someone called the city to complain.

"Odors were very strong in the area, so I imagine it could've been anyone around the property," said Elda Rodriguez-Hefner with Environmental Services.

Several cats were still lingering around the home Thursday afternoon when NewsChannel Nine attempted to get comment from the owner, who declined. The city says the cats were living in poor conditions. Even though some had microchips, others appeared to be feral, according to Environmental Services.

Elizabeth Peña, who lives down the street, said the situation has taken it's toll on her and her family.

"Two cats were on top of the tree. We had to go call him so he could come get them because they were acting really vicious. It bothers my dog," said Peña.

The city says this is the second hoarding incident in a couple of weeks.

"I'm sure that he wanted to save a life, you now that's how these hoarding cases usually start. They have good intentions but it can easily get out of hand," said Rodriguez-Hefner.

The cramped living conditions left some of the cats in poor health.

"Some may have to be euthanized due to their condition," said Rodriguez-Hefner.

Peña says the owner of the cats is a nice man who became overwhelmed.

"I can see he cares about the cats, but sometimes it gets out of hand cus its too much cats that I don't think he could take care of them all. He's really nice. He's not a bad man. He's nice. But yeah he apologized," said Peña.

If you'd like to report any problems, call Animal Services at 915-842-1000.

To adopt a pet call, 915 842-1061.

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