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Homeowner says neighbor is hoarding cats in empty house - abc27 WHTM

Homeowner says neighbor is hoarding cats in empty house

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NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) -

Ben Kowalazyk says his next door neighbor has become more than a nuisance.

"The smell is just horrible," he said.

Kowalazyk said the distinct odor of cat urine has been permeating his house on Eutaw Street in New Cumberland for nearly two years now. He bought the fixer-upper in April of 2012, but has never been able to move in, he says, because the stench makes the house unlivable.

"It comes in through the ceiling and comes up through the floor," he said.

The family living on the other side of the duplex moved out several months after Kowalazyk purchased his half of the property, but he says they left their family of cats behind.

"It would be one thing if they were living in their side of the house, but there are no humans," he said. "It's just cats."

He's now put all renovations on hold because he's not sure he'll ever get a return on his investment.

"I've spoken at the borough council meetings, pleading for help," he said. "The police have been involved. Really anything possible, I have already tried and done."

While abc27 was on site, the next door neighbor showed up and admitted to having nine cats living inside. Fred Bollon said he and his wife feed them twice a day.

"We've been taking cats off the street since the borough hasn't done anything for the last 30 years, so we've been trying to keep the population low," Bollon said. "Oh yeah, there's a smell. So we're trying to get a facility out here so we can move them in there."

Bollon said he just obtained a permit to put a shed in his side yard, where he plans to house the cats while he fixes up the property.

"I told (Kowalazyk) I'd get it done as fast as I can, but I'm limited on funds," he said.

"I don't think it's going to solve the problem with the smell coming from their side of the house into mine," Kowalazyk said. "It's just a temporary fix. If he wants to save the cats, I would tell him to take them into his own house and live with them."

New Cumberland police said they issued Bollon a $50 citation for violating borough ordinances earlier this year, and that the investigation is still ongoing. Chief Joseph Spadaccino told abc27 Bollon has been cooperative, and that the cats appear to be in decent health.

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