JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- On Wednesday, officials removed 40 cats and a 13-year-old child from a Jefferson City home. Local 8 News returned to the home Thursday, when neighbors said they had no idea about the filth that was inside.
"I didn't know it. I didn't know it," said Wander Rice, a neighbor of the Beeler family.
The owner of the home admitted she let it get out of hand.
"It starts off with a couple of pets, start taking care of them and then it snowballs from there," said Scott Hodler, the owner of Bio Solutions Tennessee. Hodler's company helps clean up what is left behind from hoarder situations.
"Before you know it, you have more than what you can take on, you're overwhelmed and it's just too much," said Hodler. "You're trying to do good but it's beyond your means to do that."
The Jefferson City home was so overwhelming, Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McGoig said animal control officers were forced to don protective masks and clothing before entering.
The incident report detailed, "There was animal feces covering the floor from one end to the other. Several garbage bags lying on the floor in every room torn open and covered in animal feces. The odor was so strong that it was unsafe to stay inside for more than a few seconds."
"When you're dealing with feces and urine and such, there are significant health hazards, it's truly considered a bio hazard in that case," Hodler said.
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Experts said hoarding situations are often emotional.
"They know that this is wrong, they know it's unhealthy, there's kind of a little bit of shame or embarrassment in these situations to where they reach this point and they don't want to let anyone in," Hodler said.