Extreme Case of Cat Hoarding In Santa Ana

It started with the smell -- acrid, unrelenting, nauseating stench -- and that only begins to describe the odor of putrefaction coming out of the St Andrews place home in Santa Ana. A dead cat had already been found outside the property and animal control officials were not being allowed into the house.

By the time Animal Control Supervisor Sandra Berg served a search warrant, she described conditions as "some of the worst" she has ever seen. "There are feces everywhere; there is urine everywhere" she explains. "On the wall, the furniture, the kitchen, the bedroom, I mean EVERYWHERE," she emphasizes.

21 cats were taken from the house, despite objections from the resident, 68-year-old Mary Lee Edgecomb. Neighbors say the woman's mother died about three years ago and that's when they noticed the cats, the garbage piling up, and the smell.

Berg says she the homeowner needs help and perhaps by her having to go to court on felony animal neglect charges, she can get the assistance she needs, especially because animal hoarding cases are very difficult - the recidivism rate is close to a hundred percent.

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