UPDATE: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Wichita Police have placed a detective on the case of a woman suspected of hoarding animals so badly that it became a serious health concern. The department has opened a criminal investigation against the woman who lived at the home at 235 N. Green in Wichita.
A neighbor called police about a foul smell coming from the home over the weekend. They found 31 dead cats in the home. Two flea-infested dogs were eating the carcasses.
Officers contacted the resident, who said she had been staying with a friend due to health concerns, but that she had been checking on the property every day and was unaware of any problems.
"That clearly was not the case and so we have now moved this into a criminal arena," Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said. "We have a detective assigned to this who has received specialized training on animal cruelty laws in the state of Kansas."
Stolz said that the bomb squad was called to help clean up the house along with fire department hazmat crews because of their specialized suits and breathing apparatus.
The owners of the home told KAKE news Tuesday they plan to begin fumigating and cleaning out the property in the next few days. Meanwhile, the office of central inspection says the landlord is cooperating fully.
"He has tried to go in at different times to change filters around the house," said spokesperson Deb Legge. "But he was always told that there was no need for that."
Click here to take KAKE's web poll on whether the woman should face criminal charges.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The owners of a home where dozens of cats were found dead have promised the city of Wichita they will clean up the mess.
City officials say they have been in contact with the owners of the home, who they say are cooperating fully with the investigation.
The owners say the woman is now living elsewhere and they plan to begin fumigating and cleaning out the property in the next few days. Afterwards, they will make needed repairs to the interior of the home.
City officials say they are confident the home owners will follow through with their promises.
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Monday, June 18, 2012
Wichita Animal Control officers are investigating whether charges will be filed against an east Wichita woman.
Police found 31 dead cats inside a home in the 200 block of Green Street over the weekend. They also discovered two flea infested dogs eating the cats.
"I'm extremely upset," said Emily Walker. She lives across the street from the home. "The loss of those creatures, they did nothing to deserve that."
The case is now in the hands of the Office of Central Inspection. Workers are waiting to get a permit to get inside the home and determine if there are any code violations.
Many in this neighborhood call the woman who lives here "The Cat Lady." Neighbors say she would place food at her door to attract stray cats. Simon Ngovi's three cats disappeared. He suspects she took them in.
"She was a very nice person, she loved animals," said Ngovi.
"I don't care if she was nice person," said Walker. "What she did to the animals is unforgivable. It hurts my heart."
Animal Control says legally with a permit you are only allowed to own four cats.
The woman living in the house tells police she hadn't been staying there because of her health.