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CBS New York

Couple found dead at Yorktown home with about 150 cats

By Tony Aiello,


About 150 cats rescued from Yorktown home after man, woman found dead 02:13

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Police made a troubling discovery this week when they found a man and woman dead, and approximately 150 cats inside a home in Westchester County .

More than 70 cats were brought to the SPCA of Westchester. The animals were gaunt and suffering a myriad of health problems.

Dozens more were still being fed at the home.

"Very sad, very puzzling. It's a mystery," said neighbor Patti Pfeifer.

Neighbors had no idea of the sad situation inside the home on Cordial Road, Pfeifer told CBS2.

Monday, police on a wellness check found the man and woman in their 50s deceased together in a bedroom.

"We determined that there is not foul play involved in that death," said Yorktown Police Chief Robert Noble.

A huge effort is underway to help the cats while police investigate, Noble said.

"Unfortunately most of them are pretty ill with upper respiratory infections, and some are blind from having untreated eye infections," said SPCA of Westchester's Shannon Laukhuf.

The SPCA medical team will stay busy helping the cats heal.

Cats in hoarding situations are often not well socialized, the SPCA said, but most of the cats removed from the home are affectionate and craving attention.

Police said the home was barely furnished, but very rundown inside.

"The people that lived there, I think their intentions were good, that they tried to care for the cats. But they had to have been overwhelmed," said Noble.

"We ask the same question. How does it get to this level to have over 150 cats in a home?" said Laukhuf.

While rescuers step up care for some of the cats, the SPCA sorely needs donations of money and supplies to handle the largest single rescue in shelter history, the group said.

The bill for helping these animals could easily approach $40,000, the SPCA said.

Some of the cats will be ready for adoption starting next week.

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