A house filled with malnourished cats was recently discovered in Japan, local authorities revealed on Wednesday.
Leased to a married couple in their 50s and their son in his 30s, the two-story home in Sapporo’s Kita Ward was found housing 238 cats, Kyodo News reports.
Authorities made the discovery in late March after the landlord evicted the family due to unpaid rent. It then became apparent that the residents were unable to care for the increasing number of cats.
The landlord reached out to the city’s animal control center and the animal welfare organization Nyantomo Network Hokkaido, which documented the findings.
According to the Environment Ministry, finding over 200 cats in just one location in Japan is uncommon. But it gets weirder.
Based on the animal experts’ assessment, many of the cats appeared underfed. It was also observed that there were bones of dead cats scattered across the floor.
“Bony cats were huddled close together, and the stench was so bad I could barely open my eyes,” a staffer from Nyantomo Network was quoted as saying.
Upon voluntary questioning, the residents admitted that they did not spay or neuter the cats, which explained the overpopulation.
The family was forced to leave in late March after the landlord filed a lawsuit with the Sapporo District Court to demand their eviction.
Most of the cats were transferred to animal welfare groups or adopted as pets by individuals, while the rest were transferred to Sapporo’s animal control center.
“There were cats in that group developing health problems like hearing loss,” says Tamami Katsuta, head of the nonprofit group that protects stray cats.
“They should be held accountable, as it is clear that their breeding violated the animal law,” she pointed out.
The case has also been reported to the local police, reports Japan Times.
Feature Image via Nyantomo Network Hokkaido