North Phoenix home taken over by feral cats

- Neighbors are calling it deplorable; a North Phoenix home has been overtaken by cats. The home is currently vacant, and those neighbors want city officials to take action.

Neighbors say they've seen up to 25 cats going in and out of the house in recent months. The scent of the home is so strong that it travels down the street. But since those cats are feral there hasn't been much the city can do. Now the Arizona Humane Society is stepping up to help.

The cats have turned the home into one big litter box.

"We could smell it from the backyard of our house," said Lennon Baugh.

Peggy Jones says the cats have been coming and going for months. She says some are sick and underfed; any residents are long gone.

"It is beyond deplorable in there, like it's up to your ankles in cat poop," said Peggy Jones.

Arizona Humane Society's Bretta Nelson says the homeowner is considered a "community cat caregiver," or someone who feeds and waters feral cats. She says there are no laws governing cats like these.

"The front door was wide open upon our arrival. The back door was the same thing. There are areas in the windows that they can get in and out," said Bretta Nelson.

The Humane Society removed two cats and two kittens. The City of Phoenix has given the homeowner until May 29 to repair the home and remove the cats. After that, they'll put a lien on the home to cover the cost of cleaning it up.

"We're going to work with him over the next few days to get all of the cats out and secure the house so the cats can't come and go, and be left inside. We've asked him to stop leaving food outside," said Nelson.

The Humane Society says the cats they removed today appear to be in good health and that the owner is being very cooperative. The city tells us it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean up and repair the property. 

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