I’m oddly fascinated by A&E’s Hoarders, but last night’s episode took me to new levels of horror over the conditions within one of the compulsive hoarder’s homes. The show featured a woman named Shirley and her husband, Bailey. Their home was more than just a house full of junk, as they also hoarded animals, cats, specifically.
These two had cats EVERYWHERE. In fact, animal control came out to remove the animals, and found more than 70 cats inside the home. The even more horrific part of it was nearly 40 of them were dead.
What made the story even more tragic was that Shirley and her husband thought they were actually helping these animals. Shirley stated she felt it was her mission to take in all the strays in her neighborhood, feeding them and giving them shelter. What she didn’t realize was that allowing dozens of feral cats into her home meant they’d multiply too quickly for her or her husband to manage. Combine that with a home filled with trash and you get dead kittens underneath boxes and mummified cat remains in the attic.
In the end, the cats were removed and the house was cleaned. Though animal control investigated Shirley and Bailey with the intent of pressing charges for animal cruelty, they decided against it as it was pretty clear the two had no ill intentions toward the animals. They were simply misguided and unprepared for what they got themselves into.