what to know
- Long Island residents called a dilapidated house on their street an eyesore that stinked up the neighborhood, but police said it was even worse inside, where a gruesome animal hoarding situation was discovered Was.
- According to the police commissioner, more than two dozen cats (26 in all) were rescued from the home in Islip, living in filth and covered in feces, with little to no food and water.
- The cats were hungry and dehydrated when emergency responders arrived at the home Tuesday night.
NEW YORK — Long Islanders described a dilapidated home on their street as one that stinks up the neighborhood, but police said it was worse inside, where a gruesome cattle hoarding situation was revealed.
According to the police commissioner, more than two dozen cats (26 in all) were rescued from the home in Islip, living in filth and covered in feces, with little to no food and water. The cats were hungry and dehydrated when emergency responders arrived at the home Tuesday night.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said, “As a cat owner, I am dismayed by this case and overjoyed that we were able to save those cats.”
Some seemed horrified when they were taken from the house, and others needed medical treatment for ailments they had contracted during their days in the house, which have since been condemned.
Gary and Daniel Varga, the stay-at-home father and adult son, are now facing multiple charges of animal cruelty.
An EMS team first discovered the hoarding situation during a visit to the home in November. But police and prosecutors didn’t learn about the alleged animal abuse until a contractor arrived a month later.
“I’ve been here 28 years and that house doesn’t improve. It gets worse,” said neighbor Neil Capolongo. “I’m surprised it’s still around to be honest with you.”
Neighbors told that the eyes of the house in this locality have been bad for a long time.
“It’s been like this for years, years, years, years. We thought it was a hoarder’s house,” said neighbor Stephen Falk. “Even my wife would walk the dog and say, ‘My urine smells strong when I walk past the house.'”
Falk’s assessment was confirmed by the police, who found the hoarder’s house to be littered floor-to-ceiling. All the cats were housed on the second floor, “26 cats crammed into 7 cages,” according to Harrison, who described the cramped conditions.
It was not immediately clear what would happen to all the rescued cats. The arrested father and son are to appear before a judge on Thursday.
“Oh, my heart is broken. My stomach is upset. I wish I had known. I would have said something sooner,” Falk said.