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Rodents, roaches and cats: Infested Rochester home draws attention

July 10, 2019 11:21 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Residents in a Rochester neighborhood reached out to News10NBC for help dealing with a messy situation.

Right now, there is a huge pile of trash in front of an abandoned home on Holbrooke Street on the city's east side. Neighbors say the trash attracts rodents, roaches and there are cats living in the home.

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Joseph Winder owns the home next to where the trash mound sits.

"I don't know. I can't say what it smells like on camera, but it's bad," Winder said.

He says the pile, as News10NBC saw it Wednesday, was a lot smaller than what it has been in the past. Winder then showed us a picture of what he says was a pile eight feet wide and eight feet tall. 

"It just has been this way since I would say the past week," Winder said. "It's been since the guy died and the wife moved out."

When the couple left, the doors remained open. Windows are broken and animals are now roaming the home. Mylene Lopez Mafuz does not live on the street, but has been coming to the home to try to help the cats.

"There were 25 cats and two litters of kittens still living inside," Lopez Mafuz said. "The thought of having those cats boarded up and starving to death kind of kicked off what we're doing now."

Lopez Mufaz and other rescue groups have been searching through the home to find the cats. So far, seven adults and nine kittens have been caught, two of them are pregnant.

"I drove by after I saw a post on Facebook. I think it was at midnight one night and there was already people looting, throwing stuff on the ground," Lopez Mufaz said.

A spokesperson from the mayor's office confirms to News10NBC that the city owns the property. City records show they bought it in January. News10NBC is still working to find out why there were people living in it within the last month.

City spokesman Justin Roj sent News10NBC the following statement: 

"The City of Rochester is aware of the issues with the property and is actively working to address them. the front of the property will be cleaned tomorrow and both code enforcement and animal services are involved."

"If they board it up, it's loaded with roaches and everything else, it's going to be a problem," Winder said.

Winder and other residents would like to see some sort of extermination effort from the city. 

If you would like more information about adopting or fostering one of the cats found in the Holbrooke home, you can reach out to Susan Rook at 585-743-2336 or contact Hearthside Cats, Inc.

Credits

Kaci Jones

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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