Authorities rescued 11 cats from a squalid home in Valley Stream Wednesday and will return to the residence Thursday in hopes of saving more felines, officials said.
The Nassau County SPCA worked with multiple law enforcement agencies to rescue the animals after authorities served a 1:30 p.m. search warrant at the Trafalgar Square home, said Det. Gary Rogers, of the animal protection agency.
“It was a horrendous situation,” Rogers said. “The house had an odor emanating from it. The cats were traumatized. They probably haven’t had a breath of fresh air in their whole lives.”
Nassau police, the county fire marshal's HAZMAT team and the District Attorney’s Animal Crimes Unit took part in the rescue effort and investigation, Rogers said. Although nearly a dozen cats were retrieved alive, Rogers said, investigators found one dead.
Police alerted the Nassau SPCA that a woman was removed from the home and hospitalized Tuesday, which prompted authorities to obtain the search warrant, Rogers said. No one went into the home Tuesday because it was without power, he said.
Close to 25 cats could have been in the home amid garbage, floors covered by feline excrement and urine, as well as a bathroom containing two feet of human feces, Rogers said.
“There were piles of garbage in the house," he said, "numerous places for them to hide.”
Authorities will try to lure the remaining cats into cages with food, Rogers said.
Nassau prosecutors will determine if the resident will be charged, according to Rogers, adding that the cats rescued Wednesday were taken to the Hempstead Animal Shelter for spaying, neutering and cleaned so they’re adoption-ready.