Animal control officers in Sioux City, Iowa, had to don hazmat suits this week to enter a home that apparently had been abandoned along with about 50 cats inside it, some of them dead.
"The conditions were unbelievable, that's all I can tell you, that they were absolutely unbearable," Cindy Rarrat, head of the Sioux City Animal Adoption & Rescue Center, told local TV station KCAU-TV. "It was unfit for humans or animals, which is why housing authorities were here and red-tagged the premises."
Nightmares Lurking Inside Homes
50 Cats Found in Sioux City Home and Police Seek Owner-of-Record Mark J. Lanning
A couple in Salem, Idaho, decided to walk away from their home when they discovered that thousands of snakes were slithering in the walls and the siding of the house. Amber and Ben Sessions said they could hear the scales of the snakes against the house and saw track marks all over the place where the snakes would slither.
A man in Omaha, Neb., was living in fear in his own home -- because it was infested with venomous brown recluse spiders. After finding 40 of the dangerous arachnids in his apartment, Dylan Baumann said that he would shake his towels before drying off after a shower, shake his clothes before putting them on and check his shoes before wearing them. Baumann said he plans to move out in September.
A Miami teenager came home to find her father dead in his house, which was swarmed by 60,000 bees. The house was reportedly under renovation, and it was said that the man may have been trying to get rid of the bees when he died.
When Susan Minutillo of Hudson, Fla., ran out to run an errand, she didn't expect to come back and find that her home had dropped into the ground -- after a giant sinkhole under her house suddenly swallowed half of it. Minutillo ran to her neighbors' house, but their home was soon evacuated, too, due to the danger posed by the sinkhole.
After vandals trashed a foreclosed home in Huntington Beach, Calif., an army of mold took over the house, causing $250,000 in damage. Appliances had been removed and water from the Jacuzzi bathtub had been left running. When the water was left to sit, mold grew on the walls, furniture and under tiles.
Brian Dyer intended to dig a hole for a pool in the backyard of his Lakeland, Fla., home. But that hole and two others that contractors attempted to dig were already filled -- with mounds and mounds of trash. Tires, washing machine tubs, debris, metal parts -- even a lawnmower -- were found buried 3 feet under the soil in his backyard.
A pack of coyotes moved into a burned-out and abandoned home in Glendale, Calif. The owners were set to demolish the home and gave the city permission to trap the animals. But the home's neighbors were frightened to even walk outside.
A Palmetto, Fla., homeowner walked into her bathroom to find a 7-foot-long alligator on the floor. Apparently, the gator crawled into the woman's home through the cat door. The alligator was removed without incident -- but the woman removed her cat door.
A man in Dayton, Ohio, said that he was battling 50 to 60 roaches a night inside his home and that they were coming from the foreclosure next door, where the walls were "alive" with them.
Rarrat confirmed to AOL Real Estate that authorities are looking for a person named Mark J. Lanning to question him about conditions at the home. According to public records, the 56-year-old is listed as the home's most recent owner.
Rarrat told the Sioux City Journal that the cats found at the home on Monday apparently had been living by themselves since March and were occasionally fed by someone who visited the house. Neighbors told another local TV station, KMEG, that they haven't seen the residents of the house for more than two months.
Neighbor Dianne Beldin said that she hopes this story can have a relatively happy ending.
"I'd like to see the cats -- each one of them if they're healthy enough -- at the vet's office, to have a home where somebody would love and care for them," Beldin told KMEG.