An animal shelter in Cicero euthanized 81 cats which had been found in a woman's home last week.
The cats were determined to be in extremely poor health, and many of the cats tested positive for feline leukemia virus, reported the Chicago Tribune.
A meter reader called police for a well-being checkup on the 70-year-old woman, finding that she had not paid her water bill for a lengthy period of time.
When police on June 20 arrived at the elderly woman's residence, on the 1800 block of 57th Avenue, they found an abundance of felines living in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions.
Officials originally believed 12 dead cats were also found in the yard of the home. It has since been reported by Cicero officials that only one of the carcasses belonged to a cat. The others likely belonged to squirrels or other animals.
The Cicero Waggin' Tails Shelter and Cicero officials took the living cats to Animal Care League in Oak Park, where veterinarians said the cats tested positive for feline leukemia. While highly contagious among cats, the disease is not transferable to humans.
The woman has been removed from her home, a place officials say was filthy and unsanitary for anyone, and is now living with an acquaintance.
The town continues to find more cats in the woman's home, and the Chicago Tribune reports that three more were found and trapped earlier Tuesday.