PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The Pascagoula Police Department is facing a bit of a messy animal control issue. A condemned trailer in the city has been housing dozens and dozens of cats.
With its yellow tape and official signs declaring it condemned, it's obvious from a glance that the trailer on Orchard Ave. may not be suitable for any living things to be inside, but there were.
"We were told there were only about six cats. No, not the case," said Kara Merritt, who lives in the same complex as the condemned trailer.
After calls to animal control and animal shelters, a visit inside confirmed that it was way more than a handful of cats. In fact, the number was likely in the dozens.
Merritt said the tenants were recently hospitalized, and now the neighborhood is getting frustrated with the deteriorating conditions.
"The smell is horrible. Every day you walk outside, the kids complain. They don't want to stay outside and play anymore, and then you can smell it inside your house," said Merritt.
Animal rescuer Helene Hicks actually walked into the trailer before it was condemned to get food and water to the stranded felines.
"It's horrible. I've never seen anything like this, and I've been doing this for about 40 years and in Jackson County for about 10, and I've never seen anything like this," said Hicks.
Even though the smell just recently started to affect neighbors, Hicks thinks this isn't a recent issue.
"I'm going to say that this is not a monthly or even a six-month thing. I think this, it's probably several years of the destruction that I saw in there. This place is not habitable. I don't know how they were sleeping. There's not one inch of it that doesn't have feces on it or pee or anything like that," said Hicks.
Hicks hopes the cats trapped inside will be able to find homes outside of these living conditions once they are removed.
The Pascagoula Police Department helped trap and remove the cats Tuesday afternoon. The Jackson County Animal Shelter asked for any help that the community could provide in the form of supplies and fostering these cats.