WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) – Police discovered a startling situation when they arrived at a home at 3404 Duquesne Avenue in West Mifflin. They were sent there for a “welfare check.”
What they found was an unresponsive man, who was taken to a local hospital. But he was able to give authorities the OK to allow animal welfare agents to go through the home.
Initially investigators thought there were at least 100 cats inside.
Seth Mowrey was the Human Society Officer on scene. He explained in detail why it was hard to get an actual count.
“Everybody diving, darting and hiding… it’s hard to keep track of how many there actually are, so the first assessment of 100 is typically it’s an over assessment,” Mowrey said.
Turns out, officials found a total of 18 cats. The youngest ones were vaccinated on the scene.
But all of the surviving cats and kittens will be taken to the Humane Animal Rescue in the East End for other medical care.
“Most of them are emaciated. They’re covered in fleas. They’re losing hair from the fleas. They’re anemic,” Humane Animal Rescue medical director Dara Metzger said.
A lot of them have signs of an upper respiratory infection.
Officials had a challenge finding all the cats; they were under furniture, in furniture and even in the ceiling.
“A mother cat and two kittens [were] in the ceiling in the kitchen that we were able to see through the drop ceiling,” Mowrey said. “A couple of panels were missing.”
The cats will eventually be put up for adoption, but it’s not clear how long it could take before they are ready. In the meantime, officials are trying to make sure there are no other cats inside.
“We will put humane traps and our humane officer will come back and check on them,” Sarah Shively, Humane Animal Rescue director of admissions, said.
As for the house, it’s been deemed uninhabitable.