Friday, August 21, 2009

Hillside woman hoarding cats previously had 122 felines removed from house

by Erin Eileen O'Neill

HILLSIDE -- After animal welfare agencies found nearly 40 cats living in the disheveled home of a Hillside woman, they say it wasn't the first time they've had to intervene.

On Wednesday, the Associated Humane Societies in Newark took 26 cats from Caroline Szalay's one-story, feces-covered Broadway home.

Hope for Animals, a nonprofit organization involved in the rescue efforts, said they rescued another 10 cats from the house. The organization is working to free another five cats they think remain in the home.

It was the second time the Hillside woman was found hoarding cats.

In 2005, animal control officials removed 122 felines from Szalay's home, according to Denton Infield, Associated Humane Societies manager.

"I went into that house four years ago, from my knees to my feet I couldn't even see my white suit, because there were so many fleas on my body," said Infield.

Every one of those 122 cats tested positive for ringworm, said Infield, and were euthanized. The 26 cats transferred to the Newark shelter this week were also euthanized..." More