Over 50 cats removed from home in Monroe - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Over 50 cats removed from home in Monroe

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MONROE, Wis (WKOW) --- Monroe police and fire officials removed over 50 cats from a home in Monroe Monday.

Police officials say they were called about the home last week with complaints of an odor coming from the home on the 1100 block of 19th Street.

After investigating, officials found the smell came from an excessive amount of cats being kept in the home.  They allege they were without care, and without the home being adequately cleaned.

"They've not been cared for, not fed, there's diseases, inbreeding,"  Police Chief Frederick Kelley says.

On Monday, officials entered the home with consent of the 78-year-old homeowner, and found 55 cats alive, some very ill, and 5 dead cats.

Officials seized the cats with consent of the owner and they are being held at the Green County Humane Society.

Crews had to wear protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus while removing the animals.

"When they opened the garage, I had to shut my windows, because the smells were just coming in real thick,"  neighbor Angela Voigt says.

When 27 News reached homeowner Delores Marti, she said her motives in sheltering the cats were to help the animals.  She denies simply hoarding the animals.

"It isn't a psychological need,"  Marti tells 27 News.  "I'm a caring person."

"She's loving and caring,"  Voigt says.  "But you can't have (fifty-five) cats in a house.  They didn't deserve this."

The home has now been deemed uninhabitable by the Building Inspector temporarily.

Officials will now go through the court system to decide the whereabouts of the animals.  A Friday hearing to determine the disposition of the seized cats is scheduled. 

Police officials tell 27 News, Marti's been the target of enforcement related to the hoarding of animals before.  A Monroe city ordinance restricts the number of cats in a household to three.

In July 2012, Marti was fined $175 for having an excess of animals.

In December 2013, she was again fined $175 for violation of the pet limit ordinance.  Kelley says more than thirty cats were discovered at her home.

There's now pending, municipal complaints against her for having an excess of animals, and for obstructing police.

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