ROSEBURG, Ore. (KMTR) -- At about 10 AM Tuesday, Douglas County Animal Control and patrol deputies served a search warrant at the home of 74-year-old Peter Rubin. After seeing the inside of his home on Scofield Avenue in Roseburg, Rubin was arrested for animal neglect.
Animal control says they found 69 cats in his home, including one that was dead. The other 68 were taken to Saving Grace Animal Shelter in Roseburg.
The conditions inside the home were so bad the Douglas County Sheriff's Office felt they had no choice.
“It's pretty graphic. There's just feces and urine everywhere,” says Deputy Dwes Hutson. “It's an unsanitary condition both for him and for the cats and so, for that reason, they had to be seized and taken out of there.”
Shelter staff is doing all they can but feels a bit strained.
“To receive 68 cats in one day and especially to receive cats that need to be held for those reasons, it’s a little overwhelming,” says Wendy Kang, director of Saving Grace Animal Shelter.
“It's definitely a strain on our staff, because that essentially doubles the number of cats that we have, that we are trying to care for.”
Many of the cats had matted eyes and respiratory illnesses. They'll be cared for at the shelter until the case plays out in court.
The scent coming from the home is so strong it can be smelled from about 30 feet away. Neighbors say the cats had been an issue for years. They're sad about the circumstances, but view the seizure as a positive thing for everyone involved, especially the cats.