🐱 The people renting out an Old Bridge townhouse left behind garbage and their cats

🐱 The cats appear to have not eaten in a few days before volunteers arrived

🐱 It's not clear if police are involved or if charges will be filed


OLD BRIDGE — A neighbor's complaint about the smell of urine coming from a townhouse led to 40 cats being removed by volunteers from a rescue on Friday.

The tenants who lived in the unit at the Society Hill townhouse development in Old Bridge moved out and left behind a house filled with garbage, trash bags and cats. Lots of cats.

Amy Van Houten, a volunteer for Happy Homes Animal Rescue, told New Jersey 101.5 they were notified by the neighbor about the situation and were shocked at what they found.

"We didn't realize how bad it would be when we went over. We thought it would just be a couple of cats. We were not really prepared for the conditions of the home. It's beyond disgusting," Van Houten said.

"Combined with the fact that they were 'stuff hoarders,' the house is just in horrible shape and the cats just added to it. But cats aside, the house was disgusting."

Inside an Old Bridge town house where 40 cats were removed
Inside an Old Bridge town house where 40 cats were removed (Happy Homes Animal Rescue)

Skinny and dirty cats

Van Houten said Happy Home volunteers went into the house on Friday and brought 15 cats to their rescue while the township shelter took most of the rest. Some remain in the house.

"They needed to be treated for fleas and spayed and neutered and all that. But some of them are ready for their homes and the ones that are not ready now will be ready soon," Van Houten said.

She didn't think the cats had been left on their own for long but they may not have been fed regularly even before the residents moved out.

"They're skinny and they're dirty. They did have a lot of fleas. The whole place is flea infested. They seem to be in good spirits. And they're eating well now. Some of them are scared and some of them are friendly, but they all seem to be doing pretty well," Van Houten said.

Cat inside a town house in Old Bridge
Cat inside a town house in Old Bridge (Happy Homes Animal Rescue)

Rental unit in bad shape

Van Houten said the whole unit is in bad shape and thinks it will need to be gutted and redone.

Van Houten is not sure if police or law enforcement are involved. Old Bridge police on Tuesday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.

News 12 New Jersey was first to report on the cats.

Inside an Old Bridge town house where 40 cats were removed
Inside an Old Bridge town house where 40 cats were removed (Happy Homes Animal Rescue)

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