VIRGINIA CITY, NV - The Nevada Humane Society is trying to clean up a mess left by a Virginia City man and his love of cats. When 61-year-old Rick Hover died at his home some 30 cats had to fend for themselves.
The stairs alone leading up to the deceased owner's house is a hazard.
But once outside the door the smell would let Humane Society investigators know they would need protective clothing to go inside
Once there they would find a floor covered a foot deep in cat feces and dozens of cats both dead and alive.
Hoover's ex-wife lived next door and says something needed to be done.
“I'm just very happy to see them because we were trying to feed and water them and it was kind of scary because we couldn't get past the front door. They were all on the porch,” says Julie Hoover-Shaw.
Hoover was found dead in his home last week.
His ex-wife says he started a couple of years ago with just four cats, but the numbers soon grew.
His ex-wife says Rick had collected so much stuff downstairs he had to move upstairs with his cats, and even when the electricity and water was turned off back in 2007 he still managed to find food and clean water for his animals.
A total of six cats were captured early this morning and taken here to the Silverland Inn in Virginia City.
The inn donated a room in the basement to care for the cats, litter, food even cages have been donated by Petsmart.
The Society's veterinarian Dr. Diana Lucree took a look at one of the cats and says because of the urine fumes in the home, the cat is suffering from an eye and respiratory infection.
All the captured cats will receive medical treatment and come back to the Silverland for adoption
“And the reason we are keeping them here in Virginia City because we would really like the locals to be able to come forward and have a chance to adopt them,” says Kimberly Chandler with Nevada’a Humane Society.
It's a case where too much love out-stripped resources and the ability to adequately care for the animals.
It's hoped those living on the Comstock can help the felines land on all fours just like they are supposed to.
The Humane Society is asking for volunteers to help take care of the cats at the Silverland Inn until they can be adopted.
f you’d like to help contact Chandler at: