Midtown neighbors say woman is hoarding cats

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis neighborhood association has some major issues with one neighbor who they claim is hoarding cats.

Theresa Reed said she along with her neighborhood association said the woman who lives at a home on Wilcox Avenue in Midtown Memphis has been hoarding cats for years.

"I've seen the FedEx man throw packages at her house because he didn't want to walk up to the front door," said Reed.

Reed said the woman has allowed dozens of cats to roam the community and spread disease.  She said the health department has been forced to put down several kittens who were found to be carrying feline leukemia.

"The most I've seen outside at one time is about 15," said Reed.

Neighbors said the cats treat their yard like a litter box.

"Horrible odors," said neighbor John Cassidy.  "Having to have a separate pair of shoes to walk through our yard or cut your grass because you step in feces and excrement."

Reed said it has gotten to the point where it is unhealthy to invite people to her home because of the odor and cat feces.

"I know the neighborhood association was trapping them to get them seen by a vet, and they all have to be put down because they had feline immune-efficiency virus," said Reed.

The cat owner told Action News 5 she understands the concerns that her neighbors have about the health of her cats, but she does not appreciate the tactics they have taken.  She said she is working with a veterinarian to get all of the cats spayed.

Several neighbors said they have taken the cat owner to environmental court, but the court order is not being enforced.

"It will go from a whole bunch of cats back down to normal, then the city backs off," said Cassidy.  "Back up to a whole bunch of cats."

"I just want her to follow court order and just maybe have two cats," said Reed.  "Not to breed any kittens in her house, and clean up her property."

The cat owner said she cannot afford to care for all the cats and is hoping to find a good home for the animals.

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