Hoarding – 67 cats seized
Authorities removed 67 cats from Gay’s home at
The cats were taken to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter. Two cats were found dead, 2 others escaped.
The cats are in “rough shape”. Investigators could only stay in the home for about 10 minutes at a time because of high levels of carbon monoxide and ammonia from the cat’s urine.
Animal cruelty is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by a maximum $1000 fine, jail time and community service. The SPCA is pursuing both criminal and civil charges.
In Gay’s home, officers discovered human waste being stored in buckets and bins in a 2nd floor bedroom. A toilet in the bathroom on the same floor wasn’t working, but the 1st floor bathroom was working.
Animal excrement was scattered throughout the house. There was flea infestation and cats milling around the 2 dead cats. All the cats had upper-respiratory illnesses (URI) and 1 dog with a nice temperament suffered from flea bits and missing patches of fur.
The animals were sent to the county animal shelter for evaluation.
Gay is staying in a hotel until the borough can arrange for alternative housing. Her house could become habitable again once it has been fumigated and cleaned.
Gay had previously appeard in Clayton Municpal Court claiming to own 23 cats. Under a court order, she was to reduce the number of cats to 4 in her home. When the SPCA and animal control entered her home, she had 63 cats and 1 dog.
Many of the cats had serious flea infestations and severe eye conditions, some with clouded white or missing eyes. The elderly male Lab mix is being held at the request of Clayton Mayor Patricia Gannon until Gay's court date.
Gay has now been charged with about 70 counts of failure to provide for the cats, with an additional count of failure to provide and animal cruelty for the dog. Reduced from the original charges of 134 counts.
The Courier Post