June 25, 2009: DCF investigates Valrico hoarding case More & video
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL -- At first glance, the brick Valrico home in an upscale neighborhood appears to be a nice place to live.
Neighbor Chad Brock told us, "I never knew what was going on inside. You'd always see these cats running around."
But when you look closer, through frosted windows and into the garage, you'll find stuff stacked chest-high and smell the stench wafting from a cracked sliding-glass door.
"I actually had to climb up and over and crawl in some of the rooms in the home to get across them on my hands and knees, " said Corporal Ken Vetzel.
Hillsborough County Animal Control Officer Vetzel helped rescue 11 cats from inside the house. Some caked in their own filth and fleas, while other cats were missing eyes and fur. Five more cats were found dead but officers believe there are at least 30 more roaming outside.
"It's a very bad neglect case," according to Corporal Vetzel. But it's the homeowner, 74-year old Alice Santy, that investigators and neighbors are truly worried about..." More