Animal Care Services said crews responded to a "clear case of cat hoarding." 24 cats were removed from a home on the city's northeast side. The owner of the cats said it was "better for them" to be in her home than on the streets.

"You take them home. You fall in love with each and every one of them, and you nurse them back to health," said
D'Ann Trethan, who also said she has a big heart when it comes to animals. She feeds outdoor cat colonies on the north and northeast sides of the city daily.

"It does get overwhelming, because you can't turn any of them away, You see an injured animal, and you take it in," She said.

She said her home of seven years was turned upside down by ACS when workers removed the 24 cats.

"There were extremely high ammonia levels,13 parts per million. It's very very high, definitely not livable for humans and not livable for animals," Animal Care Services Assistant Director Shannon Sims said.

"Sometimes we get overwhelmed with what we want to do about rescue, and that keeps happening to me because I care so much about the animals," Trethan said.

Trethan said the home yesterday was still cluttered with cat food bags next to her bed, full trash bags and piles of cat food on tables. After ACS came and took the two dozen cats, she said the food was scattered all over the floor, tables and chairs turned upside down and her heart left in pieces.

"They say it's unsafe, but that's stupid. It's unsafe to have them out there," said Trethan.

"It's trying to get the animals out of a really bad situation and hopefully be able to provide her with a little bit of help as well," Sims said.

Trethan will head to court next Tuesday for a custody case where a judge will determine if the environment is safe enough for the cats to return to her home, or if the cats will remain with ACS. Trethan said she plans to clean the home and hopes to get her cats back.