A Vernon woman, who had more than 100 cats seized from her home, denies the conditions were unsanitary and inhumane, and said they were well fed and cared for.
However, Sandra Blackwood also admits less than a week after all those cats were removed, she now has 8 cats inside and more outside.
The Humane Society of North Texas and the City of Vernon seized 108 cats from the home in the 3500 of 1st Street last Thursday.
The Humane Society said the condition Blackwood’s home was deplorable, but she disagrees.
“I think they’re wrong cause you can see here… It’s not,” Blackwood said. “You can’t smell it in here. And the only time you can smell the urine and ammonia is when we took and emptied the cat box into the dumpsters.”
But her neighbors wonder how someone could not notice the odor, especially inside the house.
“I mean, when the wind comes from the west …. it just smells like death, ammonia,” neighbor Brian Sosebee said.
How did she end up with more than 100 cats?
“There was over 70 different people that brought me one and two cats a piece,” Blackwood said. “They was gonna have them put to sleep. And I said no, bring them here. I’ll find them homes. Nobody wanted them. And I got stuck with them.”
Blackwood said they had vet care and constant access to food and water.
The cats do not have a litter box, but have a whole room covered with wood chips. Food is poured on the living room floor.
“I bleach the floor. Then I had a line there. They got in line on both sides. And then afterwards I would bleach it again…. with straight bleach and let the fans blow dry,” Blackwood said.
The city attorney says Vernon residents are only allowed to have five animals per home.
Blackwood said she thought it was six, and said she now has at least 11.
“I have eight in the house and I think it’s three outside,” Blackwood said.
Blackwood said she is upset about signing custody of the animals over to the Humane Society.
“It’s depressing. It’s empty here. It’s an empty home,” Blackwood.
Blackwood also wanted to pursue a future business plan that involved cats.
“I was planning on opening a no-kill shelter for them and it would be an on-going thing,” Blackwood said.
Blackwood said the house could not have smelled too much of ammonia because she has COPD.
The city attorney said no charges are pending, but that does not mean they won’t be later and city officials said they will continue to monitor the situation.