Hamden animal control officers seized nearly three dozen animals from a home on Blue Hills Avenue on Monday morning.
Officers served a search and seizure warrant at the home and encountered rats before finding 26 cats, six dogs, 2 caged squirrels and an owl, according to police. They also found three dead animals including two cats and a woodchuck.
Health officials later deemed the home uninhabitable.
According to neighbors, the home has been a source of complaints for some time and this morning’s search drew an emotional response.
“I was crying,” said a neighbor who wanted only to be known as Phyllis. “I was crying because I knew what was going on there.”
The person who owns the home has not been named by authorities. Neighbors who spoke with NBC Connecticut believe the homeowner hasn’t lived there for years.
“It can be a nightmare,” added Phyllis who lives directly next door. “I haven’t opened my side windows for years because of the smell.”
The animals rescued Monday morning were taken to several nearby veterinary facilities. Each was examined and vaccinated for rabies. Mount Carmel Veterinary Hospital took in 15 cats. Dr. Kristilee Stewart said they were in good condition.
“We only had one or two today that you could hear that they were dealing with an upper respiratory issue and only one or two that were under weight,” Stewart said.
Although she’s happy for the rescued animals, Stewart is sad about the conditions police say the animals were found in, especially being exposed to wildlife.
“I mean woodchucks and rats. They can carry some pretty serious diseases,” added Stewart.
Stewart said the cats she examined have been released to shelters where they will be monitored for at least two weeks before being put up for adoption.
Necropsies will be performed on the dead animals to determine how they died.
According to police, an investigation is continuing. It is unclear at this time if charges will be levied.