Officials: Animals rescued from unfit Central Islip home

Suffolk County police responding to an emergency call Friday about a Central Islip woman in medical distress found she was violating Town of Islip health codes by living in her uninhabitable home. Videojournalist: Jessica Rotkiewicz (April 26, 2013)

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Suffolk County police responding to an emergency call Friday about a Central Islip woman in medical distress found she was violating Town of Islip health codes by living in her uninhabitable home, a town spokeswoman said.

The woman, 69, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for evaluation, officials said, and up to 40 animals, mostly cats, were roaming her yard and home on Bayonne Avenue.

Inez Birbiglia, a town spokeswoman, said the woman and the town have been battling since June 2011, when neighbors reported numerous animals roaming about the grounds, Birbiglia said.

Since then, the woman has failed to respond 10 times to court-appearance tickets about the violations, Birbiglia said.

Police said a call came in at 7:40 a.m. about a woman in a weak condition. When officers arrived they found animals going in and out of the house and a stench coming from inside, Birbiglia said.

Birbiglia said the house had been declared unfit for occupancy by the town in June 2011, but the woman found her way back inside. Birbiglia said the woman appeared to be living alone, but did not know how long she had been living there illegally.

She also said the town would be seeking an injunction to prevent the woman from re-entering the home. Birbiglia said the woman is represented by Legal Aid.

Eight animals -- six cats, a kitten and a dog -- were removed by the town's animal control, and Birbiglia said other animals would likely be collected and evaluated.

"Some appear to be in pretty bad shape," she said, but did not have more details on their condition.

Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk SPCA, said his agency also has responded, but he did not have specifics on the number of animals or their conditions.

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