Safety of dozens of cats questioned

FRESNO, Calif.

Sheriff's deputies took the owner of the cats to Community Regional Medical Center after she threatened a relative with a knife last week. The S.P.C.A. said there are more than 100 cats living on the property.

"It's hideous. I don't even know how to describe it. I've never seen anything remotely like this," said Blaine Freeman.

Freeman said he's never seen so many caged, filthy animals in his life. "Several of them have mucus from their eyes and nasal and just the living conditions all the liter boxes. She's tried to take care of them but there are just too many," he said.

The pets were collected by his 63-year old aunt. We saw more than two-dozen cats when we were on the property for just 30 minutes.

Freeman: "She's been diagnosed as sever bipolar but she won't take any medication."

According to the family their 63-year old aunt is a navy veteran, unemployed and living off of her 89-year old mother in this house which freeman said hasn't been cleaned in years. Thursday the Fresno County Sheriff's Office was forced to take her into custody at her mother's home after she threatened her mom with a knife.

"She's got her mental issues that need to be addressed but someone needs to address the issues of the animals," said Freeman.

"We're gonna have to wait for the human situation to play itself out," said Beth Caffrey with the Central California S.P.C.A. animal control office.

Caffrey cannot comment on the case but said if investigators determine the cats are in immediate danger she can step in.

Caffrey: "Every person has a right to their personal property. And these cats are personal property. Because there are so many, over one-hundred, we make look at possibly impounding them on the property."

Caffrey said there is no room at their facility to care for all the animals. The fate of those cats could be unknown for another week. The S.P.C.A. said this case is not unique. They are investigating at least three others like it.

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