An elderly Cicero woman was taken from her home Monday after firefighters discovered over 50 cats, both alive and dead, on her property.
After neighbors voiced concerns about not seeing the woman for more than a week, firefighters conducted a well-being check around noon and discovered extremely unsanitary conditions.
"She had some outstanding bills, and there were a lot of indicators that there were problems," said Ray Hanania, Cicero town spokesman. "They discovered that she seemed sick, and then they saw the terrible condition of her home."
Although officials had never received complaints about the woman before, firefighters found 50 living cats and a dozen deceased both inside and outside the home.
Hanania said officials are working to temporarily relocate the woman until her property can be sanitized in the next four or five days.
The cats, many of which were malnourished, have been moved to numerous local shelters to be nursed back to health and put up for adoption.