News

Elderly man found living in squalor with dead cats

One of the cats removed from the property.
One of the cats removed from the property. Contributed

ALMOST 50 diseased and starving cats were put down after they were removed from a rural property near Turkey Beach that neighbours have described as "revolting".

Miriam Vale police found the cats when they were called to the property to assist an elderly man living in the run-down home.

The man was suffering deteriorating mental health issues and has now been moved to a care facility.

>> Council slammed for lack of action with diseased cats

But neighbours are outraged something wasn't done to help him, or deal with the cats, earlier - given authorities were aware of the poor state he was living in.

One neighbour, who we have chosen not to name to protect the identity of the elderly man, said there was a hole in the roof, mounds of cat faeces covering the floor and mould everywhere.

He said there were hundreds of pet food tins on the ground surrounding the building and no adequate facilities or furniture including a fridge.

He said until recently he only ever knew his neighbour as "cat man".

An elderly man with mental health issues was living in this house in Turkey Beach before being taken into care. The property also had nearly 50 diseased and starving cats.
An elderly man with mental health issues was living in this house in Turkey Beach before being taken into care. The property also had nearly 50 diseased and starving cats. Contributed

"I went in there once and saw a cat with its head stuck in a food tin. I couldn't tell if it was alive or not but it didn't move while I was in the room," the neighbour said.

"I lost count of the number of dead cats I put in the bin on rubbish day.

"The house looked abandoned… the state of it was beyond comprehension."

He said he had taken pictures, but that they would "never see the light of day - it's that bad".

"If you were my worst enemy I wouldn't put you in that house. This man was missed completely by the system… someone in a position of power must have known and should have done something.

An elderly man with mental health issues was living in this house in Turkey Beach before being taken into care. The property also had nearly 50 diseased and starving cats.
An elderly man with mental health issues was living in this house in Turkey Beach before being taken into care. The property also had nearly 50 diseased and starving cats.

"Someone is at fault here and whoever it is needs to have their ass kicked until they lose their job - no human being deserves to live like that."

Following complaints and information from RSPCA Queensland, council officers visited the property in May this year.

But the council did not have the resident's permission to remove the cats and no further action was taken.

Most of the cats were pregnant, severely malnourished, covered in growths and carrying diseases such as feline aids.

YOUR SAY: What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know by contacting us on 4970 3030 or helen.spelitis@gladstoneobserver.com.au.

Topics:  animal abuse, cats, editors picks, gladstone, gladstone regional council



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