An overwhelming smell led animal control officers to a home filled with over a hundred cats in Daytona Beach.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal
, Santiago Gonzalez and his wife Carmen Martinez, lived in their rental home along with 114 cats and one dog, until animal control officers from DeLand and Orange City removed the animals Wednesday afternoon.
As reported by the News-Journal:
The animals were discovered at the beginning of the week after code enforcement officials went to the home at 1711 Ingram Terrace to check on a garage door in disrepair, said Deltona Animal Control Supervisor Richard Lovett.
“We could smell a foul odor when we got close to the house,” Lovett said. “This morning we came back with a search warrant to get in the house.”
Officials did not comment on whether or not the animals were malnourished or mistreated. However, the owners did claim the animals were well-taken care of and that many of them were rescue cats, some with leukemia.
When officials arrived on the scene to remove the animals, the couple locked the door and a locksmith had to be called.
Martinez was taken into custody under the Baker Act law that allows the involuntary commitment of a person to a mental hospital after she threatened to hurt herself and Gonzalez signed over ownership of the animals to city officials, as reported by the News-Journal.
“My wife could not bear the thought that we were losing our animals,” said Gonzalez. “Just the thought that they were being taken to Halifax Humane Society where they kill animals affected her.”
To see a very very sad gallery of the incident, head over to the Daytona Beach News-Journal