More dead cats inside walls in Sandy Springs hoarding case

A cat rescued from a Sandy Springs condo. Sandy Springs Police found 59 cats living in unsanitary conditions in a local condo Wednesday. Many were sick and another 15 were discovered dead in the owners' freezer. Courtesy LifeLine Animal Project

At a Sandy Springs condominium where nearly 60 cats were found and the bodies of 15 others were discovered inside a freezer, animal control officers have rescued 12 more.

Fulton County Animal Control Services reported the total number of cats found inside the home was 71. Two more cats were dead inside of the walls of the condo, according to the LifeLine Animal Project.

The Fulton County Solicitor is prosecuting the case, Lifeline spokesperson Karen Hirsh said in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The condo owner was issued more than 140 citations including unsanitary conditions and failure to seek veterinary care, she added.

Spokesperson Karen Hirsh said the condo unit at 9400 Roberts Drive was condemned last week by Sandy Springs Code Enforcement.

Lifeline Animal Project was contacted by a concerned neighbor last week, Hirsch said, prompting the organization to obtain a search warrant served by Sandy Springs Police. After the cats and kittens were found Wednesday, Animal Control returned Friday and rescued 12 cats they were unable to reach on the previous trip, Hirsh said. They discovered two more cats had died inside of the walls.

Veterinarians treated the cats that survived, some with respiratory and eye infections, Hirsh said. She was uncertain if autopsies could be performed on the other 15 cats because they were frozen.

Three cats inside the condo where they were rescued. Sandy Springs Police found 59 cats living in unsanitary conditions in a local condo Wednesday. Many were sick and another 15 were discovered dead in the owners' freezer. Courtesy LifeLine Animal Project

Sgt. Sal Ortega of Sandy Springs police said Thursday that the homeowner lived alone and told officers that he’s at a difficult stage in his life and the number of cats got out of control.

Animal Control Services visited in July after complaints from neighbors about an odor and found the homeowner with only a few cats, he added.

LifeLine recently took in 16 kittens from a property in Walton County where stray cats had been fed and multiplied, AJC.com previously reported. Hirsch said the Fulton animal shelters are nearly at capacity for cats and that the organization is in “urgent need” of foster homes.

LifeLife is seeking foster homes for cats who are already in their care to make room the rescued cats and kittens. Those interested in helping can sign up to foster at LifeLineAnimal.org/fostercats or donate to support their ongoing care at LifeLineAnimal.org/helpsavelives.

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