ROYAL OAK - Animal control workers find a home in Royal Oak crawling with nearly one-hundred cats and dogs. They are being held in deplorable conditions and there is a couple accused of hoarding the animals.
An overwhelming cat problem for one Royal Oak couple has put Oakland County Animal Control at capacity.
"We didn't know how many the number kept going up,” says Bob Gatt of Oakland County Animal Control.
"In the end of the day 84 cats and 7 dogs from the one house,” says Gatt.
At a glance you would not have a clue that anything wrong was happening inside this home on Edgewood Drive in Royal Oak.
Neighbors were reluctant to talk or quick to defend the couple in their 40s and 50s living here.
"Very nice people. I like them. Get along with Gary a lot and talk with him a lot,” says Phil Gates, a neighbor.
Pictures from Royal Oak police show us a glimpse of what was going on, urine stains on a waste covered floor and a magnet on the fridge reads “I love my pet”.
"They obviously cared, maybe too much and got too involved and when do you say stop,” says Gates.
Police were tipped off from someone living nearby who said the smell was unbearable at times. One person described it as a rotting corpse that you could smell blocks away depending on the wind.
Not only were conditions so bad they had to remove the animals but now a sticker on the door says no human should be allowed in the building.
It took three county vehicles to haul away the crates of cats. At animal control, the garage has been transformed into a cat isolation center and problems are starting to mount up.
"As we get into it, sickness, skin conditions, leukemia and as days progress we find more illnesses,” says Gatt.
We are told the couple lived in the Royal Oak home for 15 years and Phil Gates says the problem is recent.
"10 years ago I went in to help him move some stuff no animals in there,” says Gates.
According to Gates, the owner used to volunteer at a local pet rescue.
"He used to go there at night and take care of the animals. I guess that is how he got involved in all this,” says Gates.
If you would like to help Oakland county animal control you can adopt some of these animals.
"We have 130 healthy cats ready to be adopted to make room for the 84 we just got in,” says Gatt.
As for the couple, police say they are co-operating with police and no charges have been filed yet.