Psychotherapists believe animal hoarding is associated with a mental illness.
AUGUST 30, 2011 - Just a few of the more than 100 cats, alive and dead, animal control officers removed from a home in the Northland of Kansas City, Missouri Monday afternoon.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The smell of cats still lingers outside Ann Metcalf's Northland home.
Animal control officers said they seized 152 cats from the home on Monday.
"We knew it was bad but we didn't know it was that bad," said neighbor Marzella Blackmon.
Blackmon said she could smell the odor from her home. She believes Metcalf needs to see a mental health expert.
"I've heard she has a kind heart, but I have a kind heart and I don't have 100 cats in my home," said Blackmon.
Psychotherapist Dr. Stella Fernandez, said people like Metcalf often suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. She said a traumatic event usually triggers an act like hoarding.
"Just like diabetes you might have it and have that predisposition, but sometime it takes something to happen for that condition to actual occur," said Dr. Fernandez.
Fernandez believes Metcalf should get immediate help, because it's not healthy to immediately pull out the hoarding objects.
"She gets comfort from them," said Fernandez.
Fernandez also said hoarders don't believe they are harming the animals. They often use the animals as a way to cope with anxiety.
The cats are now getting cared for at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City. Vets said the animals will be available for adoption once the cats are done being treated.