'It’s beyond deplorable.' 180 cats removed from Paterson home, officials say

Officials say 180 cats are being removed from a three-story home on Madison Avenue in Paterson.

Chris Keating

Feb 23, 2024, 10:45 PM

Updated 57 days ago

Share:

Animal rescue groups from around New Jersey responded to a serious case of animal hoarding in Paterson. It’s a case that the Paterson Animal Control officer calls the worst he’s seen.
Officials say 180 cats are being removed from a three-story home on Madison Avenue. The animals were first discovered on Feb. 15 after the second-floor tenant put out a plea for help on social media.
Donna Moussa is with Wayne-based animal rescue Homeless Tails. She’s leading the effort to remove the cats from the home. She was in full hazmat gear on Friday as she used a large net to capture the cats and place them in carriers. She was then handing them off to nearby rescues willing to help care for the animals and then get them adopted by new families.
Moussa admits it’s the worst hoarding case she’s been a part of.
“It’s a really bad situation. It’s beyond – it’s deplorable, deplorable conditions,” Moussa says. “Cat feces two feet high, can’t open the front door because of the cat feces. Just cockroaches running rampant.”
Moussa says more help is needed.
“Even if a rescue could take two, it helps. Get these cats out of a really bad situation,” she says.
Since all of the cats are alive, Paterson Animal Control doesn’t plan to file animal cruelty charges against the owners.
“They’re animal lovers, they love the animals but they don’t even realize that they’re not doing the animal justice,” Moussa says.
Meanwhile, one of the pet rescuers helping to take on these cats is the Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland. The facility has 15 of those 180 cats. They are being spayed and neutered, treated for chronic infection and microchipped.
The cats were covered in fleas and mites and many had serious eye infections that required the surgical removal of eyes.
Megan Duemmer, with Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge, said that one kitten named Pineapple’s eye has “already been removed. When we spayed her we took that eye out and she’s a lot more comfortable now.”
“We have gotten a couple of blind cats from there so far,” Duemmer says. “Some have to have either one or both eyes removed.”
It will be a few weeks before the house is clear of cats. As rescues come forward, more will be taken out, treated and placed up for adoption.
Some of the cats at Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge will be available for adoption starting next week.


More from News 12
0:14
Police: 7-year-old struck by car in Newark; driver fled scene

Police: 7-year-old struck by car in Newark; driver fled scene

2:09
Partly sunny, mild Sunday for New Jersey

Partly sunny, mild Sunday for New Jersey

0:33
Police: 46 dogs rescued from fire at industrial complex in Fairfield

Police: 46 dogs rescued from fire at industrial complex in Fairfield

1:30
New Jersey residents enjoyed warm spring temps ahead of chilly, windy evening

New Jersey residents enjoyed warm spring temps ahead of chilly, windy evening

0:17
Police: Man dies, 2 others injured following shooting in Newark

Police: Man dies, 2 others injured following shooting in Newark

1:32
Jersey City Night Market holds 5th straight celebration

Jersey City Night Market holds 5th straight celebration

0:25
Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Gloucester Township

Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Gloucester Township

0:25
Camden County rabbi convicted of hiring men to kill his wife dies in prison

Camden County rabbi convicted of hiring men to kill his wife dies in prison

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

0:13
Authorities: Kenilworth man sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine

Authorities: Kenilworth man sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine

0:15
Authorities: Berkley Township man sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatal stabbing

Authorities: Berkley Township man sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatal stabbing

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

1:42
Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

Police: Marlboro teacher accused of inappropriately touching student faces charges

0:32
Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

Man who lit himself on fire outside Trump trial has ties to New Jersey

0:56
Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

Graffiti of former Palestinian militant Leila Khaled found spray-painted at Rutgers University

0:09
Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

Police: 2 men critically injured in Newark shooting

2:16
Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

Public warned to keep their dogs away from seals at the Jersey Shore

0:59
Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

Jersey Proud: 3 men running the length of New Jersey for ‘Dylan’s Wings of Change’ charity

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck