Denise Merget, the Upper Darby cat hoarder who allegedly pulled a .38-caliber revolver on ASPCA officials this month when they tried to confiscate her 55 cats, was apparently running some kind of kitty morgue out of her mother’s house, police say.
Police and health officials searched the Ardmore Avenue house on Wednesday and found 20 frozen cats in a freezer. The house happens to be right across the street from an alleged brothel that was shut down last week.
“On one side, you got prostitution, on the other side, you got cats in the freezer," said police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. “It’s tragic. Obviously, this lady has some mental health issues and needs to get them addressed.”
The cats, which were wrapped in plastic bags, were various ages, but mostly babies, Chitwood said. The corpses were taken to the Delaware County SPCA for further investigation.
“I don’t know what the cat autopsies are going to show. My expectation was that these cats just died, but I think being so mentally ill, she’s trying to preserve them even in death by putting them in a freezer," Chitwood said. "Cryonics. That’s exactly what's going on.”
Chitwood said it was unclear whether Merget, 58, would face charges of animal cruelty. She is awaiting her preliminary hearing on aggravated assault and weapons charges for allegedly threatening to shoot an ASPCA officer on September 10.