BRAHAM, Minn. - An alleged animal hoarder has given authorities permission to go into her home and rescue more than a dozen cats living in deplorable conditions.
The woman's next door neighbor alerted police after she says the stench and filth from the duplex on the other side of hers became unbearable.
Braham's police chief says a legal tug of war was avoided when the hospitalized woman, described as in her mid-70s, gave humane officers permission to enter the home. An animal rescue truck arrived at the home, located two blocks off Braham's main street, around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Humane officers began taking cats from the home shortly afterwards and placing them in an air conditioned van. The animals will be taken to a humane facility where their health and adoptability will be assessed.
Eleven adult cats, five kittens and one dead kitten were found inside the home.
The rescued cats were transported to the Animal Humane Society in Coon Rapids. Wade Hanson with the Animal Humane Society says the cats are a little thin but in decent shape.
KARE 11's John Croman says cat feces oozed out of the front door when they opened it the first time. Animal Humane Society officers found their search for additional animals complicated by the presence of trash and cat feces.
A neighbor used to set live traps for stray cats but the woman would free the cats from the traps and take them indoors before he could retrieve them, according to Braham Police Chief Robert Knowles.
Another neighbor, Delores Lucht, said she often saw the alleged hoarder at the local Wal-Mart buying huge bags of cat food.
The woman has rented the home for about 10 years.
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