Broward County

Police Recover Dozens of Cats From Filthy Sunrise Home

Since Saturday, Sunrise Police have recovered 37 cats from the home. Four or five were found dead.

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Police have recovered dozens of cats -- a handful of them found dead -- from filthy conditions inside a Sunrise home.

Neighbors say the smell coming from the home on Northwest 94th Avenue is unbearable and that they have been living with it for months.

Sources told NBC 6 that Michelline Joy— who works with several animal rescues— was hoarding the cats inside the home and starving them.

"I would count, like, about 10 cats in the window and I had no clue that there were so many," said one neighbor, who didn't want to show her face on camera.

Since Saturday, Sunrise Police have recovered 37 cats from the home. Four or five were found dead.

Neighbors in Sunrise were reporting a strong stench coming from a nearby residence only to later discover that the owner was keeping dozens of feral cats. NBC 6's Kim Wynne reports.

“They were just wanting to pour out,” said Jessica Delcueto of Love is Feral Animal Rescue. “They were just wanting to pour out. There were so many of them.”

On Saturday, she stopped by the home to check in on another member of the group who works with several animal rescues. Once she got inside, she says she saw deplorable conditions. 

“I opened the door,” she said. “Cats flooded out. They were just screaming, climbing the door.”

Tia Williams with Operation Paw helped get the cats out of the house.

"They’re in the ceiling. They’re in the walls. They’re in the ducts. They’re in closets. Every room had cats," Williams said.

She also claimed some of the cats were cannibalizing the dead bodies of the other cats.

“That was their only food source," Williams said.

Delcueto says the hardest part is knowing the conditions were caused by someone trusted to work with animals.

“I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone,” Delcueto said.

Another neighbor, Ana Arias, has two small children and says the smell is so bad she doesn’t let them play in the backyard.

"It’s really bad. You cannot go outside. I mean, you can go but the smell is really strong," Arias said.

Sunrise Police have not made any arrests.

The animal rescue Saving Sage says the woman was a volunteer there but she was fired last week.

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