Neighborhood overridden with feral cats
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A North Phoenix neighborhood is dealing with a cat problem; an empty home has become overridden with the animals after their owner passed away.
The cats have been left to fend for themselves and have now multiplied and become feral.
Neighbors say the situation has gotten out of hand, it's become a safety and health hazard, and no agency will help them.
"When the sun goes down they come out, and you'll see them on the roofs here, you'll see them in the front yard, the back yard, they're all over the place," said Jim Heath.
Heath is shocked by what his north Phoenix neighborhood has become. He says there was never an issue until his neighbor passed away about four months ago.
"She's kind of like a neighborhood cat lady, and we've always had a lot of cats, but she always took care of them," he said.
Heath says the woman's husband is now living in a rehab facility, and the cats have been left to fend for themselves. They've now multiplied, some have become feral, others have died.
Heath says he's called several agencies for help to remove the cats; the health department, the Arizona Humane Society, and the county.
"When the sun goes down they come out, and you'll see them on the roofs here, you'll see them in the front yard and in the backyard, they're all over the place," says Heath.
Although advised not to, Heath's wife has been feeding the strays, even bottle feeding a brand new litter of kittens to keep them from becoming feral.
He says it's all he can do since no one will help.
"We have been feeding them, two reasons, one humane, we don't want to see them starve to death and two, to keep them over here," he said.
FOX 10 reached out to the Humane Society, who says there isn't a group who is able to round up all the outdoor free roaming or feral cats. They estimate there are 200,000 in Maricopa County. There are no laws for outdoor cats, but they do provide resources to help people trap the cats and turn them over.