PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confiscated numerous cats from a South Philadelphia home Sunday evening.
The PSPCA and police arrived at a home in the 2100 block of South Chadwick Street at about 5:30 p.m. Upon their arrival, they found dozens of cats infested with fleas and lice scattered throughout the residence.
At this time, officers have removed 22 living cats and six that were dead. However, officers anticipate finding more deceased cats in the home during a secondary search on Monday.
PSPCA Director of Law Enforcement George Bengal described the scene as deplorable.
“It’s just completely full of feces and urine, and when you walk in there, you are covered in fleas,” said Bengal.
Authorities say earlier on Sunday, the resident, Stephanie Sinkin, stopped by the veterinary clinic at the PSPCA’s headquarters seeking care for a sick cat. Holding an animal carrier by her side, Sinkin said she only had a couple of cats and could only afford to take care of one.
When staffers opened her carrier, they found six emaciated cats, according to authorities. The more staffers continued to speak to Sinkin, the more they suspected she was hoarding several other animals at her house.
Officers obtained a search warrant and went to the home where they made the discovery.
Sinkin, a retired school teacher, had to be doused with flea spray and put into protective gear that workers were wearing because of the unsanitary conditions.
Authorities say Sinkin’s home has no utilities, including no way for her to take a shower.
“Fleas were just covering her whole face; you couldn’t even really see her face,” said Bengal.
Workers will return to the home, which is now condemned, to seize the remaining cats.
Authorities say Sinkin is charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
Reported by Crystal Cranmore, CBS Philly