LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Domestic Animal Services rescued 72 cats from a Fort Myers Shores home today.
The agency was notified of the situation by an anonymous caller. Officers responded to the home, located on the 12000 block of Fourth Street and found the cats living in extremely unsanitary conditions.
New pictures sent to WINK News show distrubing conditions, cage after cage stacked on top of each other, filled with small cats, sitting in their own feces inside this home in Fort Myers Shores.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services tells WINK News, an anonymous tip led them to this shocking discovery. 72 cats living inside Sandra Berkshire's home. Investigators call it one of the worst-smelling homes they've ever been to. The situation so bad, code enforcement deemed this place unlivable. WINK News spoke to Berkshire's friend and neighbor who said from the outside there was no sign of any hoarding.
"I was never in her home but there were only two cats that were outside," said Greene.
Geof Greene tells WINK News Berkshire was trying to help the animals.
"She had started adopting cats if you will, taking strays in and she'd go get them taken care of, fixed and she would try to get them adopted out."
On Tuesday, Animal Services removed the cats, many of them neglected suffering from respiratory infections.
"But I guess over the years things have just snowballed on her and she wasn't able to keep up with getting the cats adopted."
The shelter is in need of foster homes to help with the care of the cats and to alleviate the overcrowding that the case has caused. Anyone interested in fostering may download a foster application at http://www.leelostpets.com/Pages/FosterProgram.aspx. The case is still under investigation and charges have not been filed at this time.
“We urge residents to report suspected cases of neglect and abuse. It is the only way we can help the animals and see that the abusers receive help and/or are prosecuted,” says Glenn Johnson, LCDAS Operations Manager. Call 239-533-7387 make a report or complaint. Callers may remain anonymous.