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73 cats found in three-room apartment

Clara Guibourg · 11 Feb 2012, 10:21

Published: 11 Feb 2012 10:21 GMT+01:00

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The stench of urine reeked out from the apartment, and once inside the horrifying reason for the odour became clear. 73 cats and two dogs were living in one three-room apartment in Luleå, in northern Sweden.

"I don't think we've ever seen anything like this before," Greta Wilhelmsson Alexis, experienced county veterinarian, said to the local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD).

The unpleasant discovery wasn't the first time that the owner, a 45 year-old man, came into contact with animal protection officers.

The man was reported by his neighbours in July last year, and officers discovered that he was keeping several cats and dogs in an unsatisfactory and unsanitary environment.

He was therefore immediately forbidden to have more than nine full-grown and castrated cats in the small apartment.

Instead, the situation appears to have spiralled out of control. The County Administrative Board's check-up last month revealed the full extent of the horror.

73 cats, uncastrated male and female adults as well as several kittens were living together. Several were inbred.

Fur balls littered the apartment, and urine and faeces covered the floor and alongside the walls.

"Cats aren't pack animals. This isn't a good environment for them. They haven't been able to run aside, and they've been forced to live in a very dirty environment," said Erika Johansson, head of the County Administrative Board's animal protection unit, to NSD.

When this was unveiled, the animals were immediately taken into custody, with the help of police, and are now living in an animal shelter.

Story continues below…

"We hope that the cats can be sold, or given over in some other way, to new owners. If that isn't possible, I'm afraid the alternative is to have them put down," said Erika Johansson to NSD.

The cat owner has opposed the board's decision to take the cats. According to NSD, his own explanation for the situation was that he couldn't afford to castrate or sterilise his cats.

It's still unsure whether or not the man will be charged with animal cruelty.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

15:13 February 11, 2012 by sureiam
I can imagine the smell in the apartment, too much 73 cats, lol.... I can just imagine! it`s creepy!!!!
16:31 February 11, 2012 by BillyB
Swedish equality...

Lonely men have cats too, not just lonely women
19:50 February 11, 2012 by SOBHIT
Cn I adopt one pls!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT ONE!!! :( :( :(
03:40 February 12, 2012 by strixy
In July? It's February now... .
15:07 February 12, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
"the County Administrative Board's animal protection unit,"

I've often wondered if there IS a Swedish body responsible for animal cruelty and neglect.

My home is in a rural location with summer properties in the area. For some reason, many people keep a cat there - only to abandon them to fend for themselves in the winter

Now I know who to contact.
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