67 dead cats and 99 live ones were found in an upstate New York home near Albany Wednesday, SFGate reports Jan. 26.
The dead cats were stored in plastic bags and stored in a freezer while the live cats were crammed into crates stacked high from the floor to the ceiling.
Sherriff's deputies responded to a call from neighbors about the unbearable odor of cat urine and feces.
A manager at the area animal shelter told authorities that she had tried helping the woman who owned the cats before, but that she has "a hoarder mentality."
"The minute anyone tried to take her cats, she freaked out and threw them off her property," Carrie Colin, manager of Animal Shelter of Schoharie in Howes Cave, said. "She definitely had a hoarder mentality. She's not a horrible person. She just needs help and counseling."
Charges are being weighted against Irene Vandyke, 50. She's employed as an office worker for Walmart. Those who know Vandyke speculate that the sudden death of her husband in December 2010 might contribute to her hoarding behavior of cats. He died at the age of 47.
Now the 99 live cats are with Colin's animal shelter on an overwhelming scale. Some other animal shelters have also come forward to help with the felines. They were given antibiotics, dewormed, and flea treatments.