PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials with Animal Friends say dozens of cats are living in terrible conditions inside two houses in Garfield.
An estimated 20 cats have been taken from the houses so far and many more are still inside.
Authorities say Eleanor Clifford was in over her head while keeping and caring for more than 50 cats in two houses she owns on North Mathilda Street in Garfield.
“I’m not crazy,” she told KDKA-TV. “I have a passion and a love for animals.”
Friday, officers raided the homes and they were back today even as Clifford insists she did nothing wrong.
“I’ve been doing it for years and it hasn’t been a problem,” she said.
Emotions rose as Clifford argued with officers who say some of the cats have died.
“If you went to the vet once in a while you’d find these things out Eleanor you’d find these things out – your kids are diseased,” Animal Friends Humane Officer Kathy Hecker said.
“Well, they’ve been inside all this time,” Clifford said. “They haven’t been outside.”
“Well then you brought something in or something erupted,” Hecker said.
Inside one of the houses were cobwebs on the ceiling, filthy floors and cats everywhere. Outside, a notice of condemnation from the city now hangs next to the front door.
Animal Friends will take all the cats from those two homes, but at the same time, they say their resources are stretched thin and they’re out of room for animals.
Hecker calls it a crisis not seen before in Allegheny County and she’s encouraging people to adopt animals.