Roseville woman, 87, found living in filthy home with nearly 100 cats

Rescue worker wears bio-hazard suit to go inside home

ROSEVILLE, Mich. – A Roseville home overrun with cats is unfit for anyone to live in. A woman from a rescue group wore a bio-hazard suit to go inside the home, where dozens of cats -- so far 75 of them -- have left urine and feces all over the floors and walls.

"What we try to do is scare them out," Melanie Wittner said.

Wittner pulled 17 cats from the home on Roberts Street in Roseville Tuesday.

"Believe it or not, she cleaned up, too," said Wittner

Wittner took out 18 cats Wednesday. She runs the animal rescue called "A Hopeful Heart," and she’s back trying to trap so many more cats, it’s staggering.

"(There are a) total of 75 to 80 cats," she said.

The stench inside is overwhelming. Soaked furniture is falling apart, and it appears the ceiling is soaked from the floors upstairs.

Mary Anne Hudak, 87, has been living with the home this way for years.

"There’s no way she should be in the house right now," Wittner said.

It started by taking in strays.

"I couldn’t stand to see them out there hungry and cold," Hudak said.

"She tried everything she could," Wittner said. "But once they started having babies, one, two cats became 100."

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit Email Newsletters (click here) for more stories like this.

"I never married," Hudak said. "I don’t have any children. They’ve been my life."

"She needs help," Wittner said. "She needs a hazmat team to come in and clean up the house. It needs to be gutted and probably taken down to the studs."

The cats are sick. Hudak can’t keep herself clean, and she knows she finally needs help.

"I’ve been getting depressed about it," Hudak said. "They’ve been my life."

Hudak is being watched. Some agencies will keep an eye on her to make sure her home isn't overrun by cats again.

To help Hopeful Heart Rescue, contact them at

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.