DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Connecticut woman is facing ten counts of animal cruelty after 42 felines were rescued from her home in Derby on Monday, according to town officials.

Officials said the cats were rescued from an animal hoarding situation at a home on Hawkins Street. Many of the cats were found to be in poor condition. Sadly, some cats were found dead inside the home and several others had to be euthanized.

Derby Mayor Richard Dziekan many of the cats needed immediate veterinary care.

“These cats have a long road ahead of them,” said Leon Sylvester, the director of Shelton and Derby Animal Control.

For the cats that made it out of the Derby home, the illnesses vary.

“Severe upper respiratory conjunctivitis, eye infections, ear infections, ear mites, flees,” Sylvester said. “Each of these cats will probably need to receive a full dental removal their teeth are rotted out and most of them are feline HIV/ leukemia positive.”

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Shelton and Derby Animal Control officials said the cats were also severely underfed.

Officers received a call a couple of weeks ago from a neighbor complaining of catfights and a constant smell. Neighbors told News 8 they’ve experienced the same.

“You can be at the end of this street and smell the scent. Once you hit past that white truck, it would just hit you,” said Ashley Yacovielle. “No animal should be neglected the way they were.”

Animal Control officials said they are still trying to catch some cats near the home.

“I’m pretty sure that’s where I got mine,” says neighbor Dan Tibbor. “She showed up on my doorstep one day and there she was, but [42], I’m shocked. Didn’t think you could fit that many in that house.”

29 cats are in the care of Shelton Animal Control while 11 kittens are being fostered through Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford. Laura Burban the director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter said the cats’ first stop was the intensive care unit.

“We said we would take the most critical cases just because we knew we would be able to get them right into an emergency hospital and start treatment right away and obviously the smallest ones are the most critical because they don’t have enough body mass to sustain themselves,” Burban said.

Animal Control officials say the woman, is in her 60s and is now facing 10 counts of animal cruelty. Investigators say they do not believe the woman meant to harm the cats and are instead calling this a mental health issue.

The Naugatuck Valley Health Department and Derby Fire Marshal’s Office said the house cannot be occupied.

The Derby Mayor’s Office is working with the landlord of the home to ensure that the resident has a place to stay.

“We understand many people who get themselves into this position are trying to help these animals so they take them in trying to help,” Burban said. “Reach out if you find yourself overwhelmed.”

Nearly 30 adult cats will be moved from Shelton Animal Control into nearby shelters at the end of the week and will be up for adoption a week or two after that. The 11 kittens that are being fostered out of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter will be looking for their forever homes in a couple of months.

For those interested in donating funds to help care for the cats you may reach out to the Derby Mayor’s Office.

The video below aired in our 6 p.m. newscast on May 17, 2023.