Marion County Animal Services is trying to gain legal custody of the 35 cats seized from a Silver Springs home earlier this week. Animal Services Program Coordinator Elaine DeIorio says the cats were taken from Nelly Vega, who was convicted of animal cruelty in 2006.
“These types of people will just take in a few cats at a time and because they’re not spayed or neutered they just get overrun with them. Other take in strays from their yard,” she says.
DeIorio says Animal Services has a numbre of safeguards which try to prevent hoarders from owning animals again, but it is really difficult to fully monitor and enforce. Many of the cats lacked clean food or water and the level of ammonia in the home was so high, the county’s hazardous materials unit was called.