Dozens of cats rescued from Frankford apartments

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Dozens of cats have been rescued from separate apartments in Philadelphia's Frankford section. (WPVI)

Dozens of cats have been rescued from separate apartments in Philadelphia's Frankford section.

The Action Cam was there are officials brought them to safety, and cleaner conditions, on Thursday.

Police say female senior citizens lived in separate apartments in what rescuers call 'deplorable' conditions. 33 cats were removed from two of those apartments.

The women were upset to see the cats go.

"They're all family. They're all family cats," said Charlotte Simila.

She was brought to tears as she talked about the cats the PSPCA seized from her first floor apartment in the 4400 block of Griscom Street.

17 cats were found in her apartment.

Acting on a tip to its animal cruelty hotline, the PSPCA executed a search warrant at her apartment Thursday. They took away most of her cats, both adults and kittens, but not all them - because some are still hiding in the walls.

"The conditions on the first floor are what I would describe as filthy: feces, urine, bugs throughout," said Gillian Kocher of the PSPCA.

While on the scene, investigators discovered Ruth Bumsted, who lives on the third floor. She had 13 cats she'd taken in off the street and tried to care for. She voluntarily turned them over.

"To me it's God's work. It's just like taking care of abused children. We have to take care of them, and I've been doing it for years," she said.

Another woman, only identified as Linda, lives on the second floor with 18 cats. Her apartment is tidy, so she's been allowed to keep the cats, at least for now. Philadelphia code allows 13 animals, so while she is exceeding that it's an animal control issue, not an animal cruelty issue. The PSPCA could be back out later.

The women said they tried to do the right thing, but the cats kept breeding and they admit the situation got out of control.

But when asked if the removal of the cats is a good thing, Simila said, "I don't know if it's a good thing, because it hurts. It hurts my heart. I raised them since they were born."

Philadelphia code allows a resident to have 13 animals. Linda is exceeding that but that's an animal control issue, not animal cruelty. Still, it's possible Animal Control will be back out.

L&I has been asked to come out to take a look at the building because the building is in such a state of disrepair.

The PSPCA advises pet owners to spay and neuter. The women said they know that, but they couldn't afford it.
Related Topics:
philadelphia newsanimal cruelty