35 of nearly 50 cats removed from Muncie mobile home in ‘deplorable condition’


(Photo courtesy of Muncie Star Press)

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Officials removed 35 of nearly 50 cats from a Muncie mobile home in “deplorable condition” Monday.

Phil Peckinpaugh, director of the Muncie Animal Shelter, told the Muncie Star Press that they plan to remove the remaining 15 cats from a home on Haymarket Road Tuesday.

The cats removed were taken to the animal shelter. Some seemed “fine,” Peckinpaugh said, while others might have respiratory or other ailments. They will each be examined by a veterinarian.

While the cats had access to food the mobile home had so much feces and trash inside that it made it “very difficult” to conduct a search, the shelter director said.

A nearly overwhelming ammonia-like odor, from cat urine, could be detected from outside the mobile home. A shelter employee and a Delaware County sheriff’s deputy who went inside wore gas masks.

Sheriff Ray Dudley, who was at the scene, said it was possible the conditions in the trailer would lend themselves to animal neglect or cruelty charges.

Peckinpaugh said it was possible the occupant of the trailer was “an overwhelmed rescuer.”

“It definitely appeared he cared (about) the cats,” said Peckinpaugh.

The mobile home park is outside the Muncie city limits, but Peckinpaugh said ordinances in both the city and Delaware County place a limit of six cats per residence.

One dead cat was found. Its remains were found in a trash bag, in the frozen foods compartment of the home’s refrigerator.

A citizen’s complaint brought the situation to the attention of authorities.

Peckinpaugh said when he arrived at the scene, he “immediately knew it was going to be an issue,” based on the odor — and the number of cats peering out the mobile home’s windows.

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