WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Authorities say an unknown number of dead cats were removed from a Delaware home where neighbors say a woman who was hospitalized had lived.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports the cats were taken out in trash bags from a Wilmington home on Thursday.

The state Department of Health and Social Services says the cats’ condition makes it impossible to say how many of the animals had died.

The odor from the deceased felines had plagued neighbors for months. One neighbor’s daughter, Sherel Broomer, said she had poured ammonia out on the street to stifle the odor.

The Wilmington Fire Department had to air out the building before animal control could enter.

Broomer said the cats were left alone in the house when the homeowner got sick in January.

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