More than 40 cats, some dead, taken from home - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

More than 40 cats, some dead, taken from home

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

More than 40 cats were seized from a Gilbert home after animal control was alerted to a hoarding situation Thursday.

Police were called to the home near Val Vista and Lakeside Drive after neighbors complained of a foul smell coming from the house.

Animal control arrived to find the homeowner had been breeding cats and had the felines all over the house.

Hazmat crews had to come in to help remove the cats, some of which were already dead.

"There were cages where some cats were kept, some cats were loose, litter boxes just mounded with feces. Some of the cages there was no food or water. Just not good conditions for the cats inside," said Melissa Gable, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

"Those that are going inside in the hazmat suits and the masks are only allowed to stay 15 minutes at a time. It's that bad inside."

Six dead cats were found in a cooler that wasn't in use.

The owner, Jill Hopper, did not want to sign the cats over to animal control. She's facing charges of animal cruelty.

The home has been deemed unfit for living.

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