SoCal Man, 96, Found Living with 700 Rats

A 65-year-old Southern California woman is under arrest after authorities say her 96-year-old father and numerous pets were found living in squalor.

Catherine Ann Vandermaesen has been arrested on suspicion of felony elder abuse and misdemeanor animal neglect, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

Vandermaesen initially refused to let deputies inside to conduct a welfare check, reports SFGate. A task force returned the next day and found a home reeking of feces and urine and filled with garbage.

A cat, a parrot, two rabbits, eight dogs, and 55 pet rats were removed. Animal control estimates the house is infested with up to 700 rats roaming the home.

Vandermaesen’s father and 74-year-old sister, who is also a possible victim, were transported to a hospital for treatment.