Crime

21 cats rescued, 6 dead, in hoarding investigation

Monday, June 13, 2011
22 cats rescued, 6 dead, in hoarding investigation 22 cats rescued, 6 dead, in hoarding investigation

A South Philadelphia home is now the focus of a massive hoarding investigation. The SPCA found 21 cats inside.

"Deplorable" is what SPCA investigators are calling conditions inside Stephanie Sinkin's home on South Chadwick Street. Inside they found dozens of cats - many in poor health, living in piles of trash.

The work is not yet done at the house. L&I needs an administrative warrant so that they can go back inside and carry out debris from the home, which has been condemned. After that happens and the conditions are safer, PSPCA officials can go back inside to retrieve the remaining cats believed to be inside the home.

"The woman never opened her doors or her windows. She didn't say much to anybody besides 'Hello'," explained a neighbor, who was shocked upon learning the conditions inside Stephanie Sinkin's home on the 2100 block of South Chadwick.

On Sunday, Pennsylvania SPCA investigators carted away 22 live cats and six dead ones in what they're calling a classic case of hoarding.

George Bengal of the PSPCA tells Action News, "As they started cleaning out the trash, there's nests of cats all in this trash - from ceiling to floor, in every room in the house."

Investigators say they got suspicious after Sinkin brought three cats into the SPCA for treatment. Law enforcement later went to the home and found it full of trash, bug infested and covered in urine and feces.

"When officer came [to the house] to execute the warrant, the fleas were just covering her whole face... and the lice. You couldn't really see her face," said Bengal.

"It's very frightening for my pieces, I have to make sure they keep up, clean and everything," Hussam Jarbouh of King of Appliances said.

Jarbough works next door and explains he's keeping an eagle-eye for pests coming into his appliance store, saying he never had any idea of what was going on next door.

Authorities explain Sinkin had no working utilities in her home. She faces animal cruelty charges and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Neighbors just hope she gets the help she needs.

"I feel sorry for the woman. She don't have nobody."

The PSPCA left food and water for the cats that were left inside. Authorities hope to get back inside the home later today or early tomorrow morning.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
philadelphia, pennsylvania, animal abuse, hoarding, south philadelphia, crime
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