(WICHITA, Kan.) — "It's incredibly embarrassing to live across the street from something like this," Emily Walker says.
Police, fire and hazmat crews converged on a north Wichita neighborhood Saturday. It was the result of cops getting a call from a neighbor who was concerned about a 69-year-old lady who lived across the street. Officers arrived to find a horrible odor and more than 30 dead cats inside. It turns out the owner had gotten ill and was staying somewhere else.
Psychologist Molly Allen says animal hoarding is a "very serious pyschological condition." Allen says people who hoard animals not only have a compulsion to collect things--they also have "this twisted sense of morality. I'm saving these animals...I'm better than a lot of people."
In this case, neighbors knew the woman had too many cats but didn't know what to do about it. Dr. Allen says it's hard to get animal hoarders to change their ways--at least until something like this happens.