OAK CREEK, Wis — An Oak creek man is being charged with four counts of animal mistreatment after 117 cats were found inside of a home covered in urine, feces, and lacking food/water, according to Oak Creek Police. Sixty-seven had to be euthanized because of the poor living conditions.
On Sept. 21, 2019, police discovered a house full of cats after a concerned neighbor called them because the neighbor didn't see anyone in the house for two months.
When officials got to the home on 7850 S. Burdwick Ave, they immediately noticed a strong stench of feces, according to reports. Police looked in the window and saw at least 30 cats in a room full of feces, garbage, and soiled furniture. The police officer contacted the owner, 38-year-old Ryan Ross, who admitted to having a problem and not knowing what to do.
A few days later on Sept. 24, MADACC, Oak Creek Police, and Ross all did a walk through of the home filled with 117 cats of various size and ages. Police said the odor was so strong it caused a burning sensation in their eyes and throat. Dirty dishes, garbage, feces, and urine were discovered throughout the home. Oak Creek's water department said the water had not been used since May 10, 2019. No food for the cats was found either. The Oak Creek Department of Health also deemed the house unfit for humans as well.
Ross said they were living there with his girlfriend. The two started to pick-up stray cats during the 2017 winter and care for them. He never took the cats to the veterinarians office. Eventually, he abandoned the house in July of 2019 because the cats began reproducing so fast he couldn't keep up proper care for them.
While not living at 7850 S. Burdwick Ave anymore, Ross would return to give the cats food and water. However, he never contacted MADACC about the situation because he was angry that in previous instances the organization euthanized the cats.
Ross faces a total fine of $40,000 and/or 14 years in prison.