Saturday, August 14, 2010

Officials can't retrieve cats in derelict home

By: Jen Skerritt

City and animal welfare officials are struggling to figure out what to do with a derelict West End home so obscured by squalor it's unsafe for anyone to retrieve an unknown number of cats that may be inside.

An elderly man was removed from his home at 366 Spence St. and taken to hospital two weeks ago after public health inspectors deemed the residence uninhabitable due to health and safety concerns.

City of Winnipeg spokeswoman Michelle Bailey said the home was immediately locked and boarded up to ensure no one could enter the residence, since there are serious concerns over its structural safety and air quality.

An unknown number of feral cats are going in and out of cracks in the basement, and officials said it's unclear whether the homeowner kept any of the animals as pets. Bailey said city inspectors are working with animal welfare workers to try to give food and water to the cats until a structural engineer deems the building safe to enter..." More

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