KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It took four vehicles to haul away more than 70 animals seized Wednesday afternoon from a Kansas City home. FOX 4's Robert Townsend was the first Kansas City reporter on the scene to capture video you'll see only on FOX 4.
Animal Control was called out to the home at East 56th and Westridge after a tip that the woman who lived there had dozens of animals inside.
The resident, Diana Kupka, 69, received several tickets, including being over the allowable limit for animals. She also received an 'adequate care' violation and a violation for unsanitary conditions. On Thursday Kansas City spokesperson Chris Hernandez told FOX 4 that it is still unclear exactly how man municipal violations the woman could receive because the investigation is ongoing.
She was able to produce a license that allowed her to have ten animals, but neighbors say they've watched many more than that run about the house.
On Wednesday it took more than three hours and several animal control officers wearing protective suits because of the ammonia from the urine. They carried out cage after cage, but had to leave with five cats still stuck in the chimney.
"There's about four or five in the yard this morning," said neighbor Tracy Morrison, a neighbor, who says he's been running Kupka's animals out of his yard for the about 19 years.
"She's real nice. She's a good lady and a good neighbor. She's an animal lover," Morrison said.
However, he says it is a problem.
"The smell, you know, and looking at the cats that are messing in your yard."
Animal control officers say they've been out to Kupka's home 16 times since 2009. This time they found countless cats on every floor of the three-room house.
"They are scattered throughout every room," said James Donovan, KC Animal Health & Public Safety. "Unsanitary conditions may be withing the inside of the residence," said Donovan.
Although a handful have respiratory and other medical issues, most of the animals Kupka surrendered are in good condition.
"She was feeding them. She was watering them," said Donovan. She cares for her animals. She just got overwhelmed."
Now, it's Kansas City Pet Project that is a little overwhelmed, but they've been in similar situations and find a way to house these animals.
"This many cats coming in at one time puts a huge strain on our shelter resources, we were already at full capacity and had received over 30 animals before the cats even arrived today," said Tori Fugate, KC Pet Project.
The cats are being stored temporarily in the basement at the shelter. They still need to be checked out by a veterinarian, but say they seem to be sociable and in good health for adoption.