Bustleton home infested with dead cats, rats, fleas

PSPCA workers were back in Bustleton on Monday to search for cats believed to be hiding in a decrepit, vermin-infested home.

Late Sunday, a 74-year-old man was found collapsed in the house on the 9100 block of Bickley St., said PSPCA spokeswoman Wendy Marano. Also found in the filthy home were four dead cats and three live ones, she said. More animals were thought to be hiding in the house’s walls and ceiling, she said.

Marano did not name the man, nor would police or fire officials.

Marano said the man called relatives for help on Sunday but when they couldn’t get into the home, they called police and the Fire Department. Firefighters and rescue workers got into the house and found the man, who was taken to Nazareth Hospital, Marano said.

While in the house, firefighters saw its condition and the presence of live and dead cats, and called the PSPCA, Marano said.

The single home’s roof is falling in, she said, adding that many of the walls and ceilings were falling apart. Animals that might have been frightened by the presence of strangers might be hiding out of sight, she said, so PSPCA staffers went back on Monday to try to trap them.

The house was piled high with refuse and animal droppings, she said. It was infested with rats, mice and fleas, Marano said.

PSPCA workers spotted several cats on Monday afternoon but were able to rescue just one, she said Tuesday. Workers set several humane traps and are going to check on them over the next several days.

“This is going to be a process,” she said, “rather than a quickly resolved action.”

The spokeswoman said she doesn’t believe the PSPCA had been called to the Bickley Street address before Sunday. ••