Man arrested in grisly Philly cat hoarding case

PSPCA officers at house were cats were found. Photo: Phillip Lucas

The resident of a boarding house where police on Friday found 38 cats - most of them dead and stuffed in a freezer, another dozen barely alive - showed up at the Pennsylvania SPCA today. But it wasn't to turn himself in.

My Inquirer colleague Peter Mucha reports:

A North Philadelphia man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges relating to a room filled with cats - living and dead.

The cats were discovered by investigators on Friday, and on Sunday, after seeing a news report, Jun Takase showed up at Pennsylvania SPCA headquarters at 350 E. Erie Ave. But he wasn't turning himself in. He asked to get his cats back, spokeswoman Wendy Marano said.

Instead, Takase, 44, was taken into custody.

On Friday, acting on a tip from landlord, Pennsylvania SPCA officers went to a boarding house in the 1500 block of 12th Street and discovered a dozen poorly treated but living felines and the bodies of 26 cats and kittens, some in a refrigerator's freezer compartment, others scattered around the single rented room.

"This is definitely one of the more bizarre cases we've seen," said George Bengal, director of Humane Law Enforcement for the PSPCA.

The surviving cats evaluated to see if they are suitable for adoption.