Milford Health Director A. Dennis McBride has seen it all in his career, so when he admits he was personally taken aback by what he saw last month at 19 Ocean Avenue, you know it’s something very serious.
McBride along with members of the Health Department, Animal Control, Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works arrived at the scene and found a “severely troubled home” that presented an immediate public health emergency.
The condition of the house is so deplorable the house may have to be razed, the city’s health director told Milford Patch.
Inside they found three dogs, 26 cats, and one large bird living in squalor. There was garbage strewn throughout the house including human and animal feces on the walls.
McBride said despite no running water for months all of the animals were in “ok condition,” and none of the animals had to be put down. All of the animals are in fair condition at Milford Animal Control, McBride said.
He said the animals were inspected by a veterinarian to make sure they were alright.
McBride said the homeowner refused to let the city into the house. The city went to court to gain access via a search warrant.
“We took control of it and brought in an exterminator,” McBride said.
He said he wanted to get an immediate handle on the rodent and flies situation inside the house. The grass and shrubs were also cut.
The house is in foreclosure.
“This house was in the most horrible condition I’ve ever seen,” McBride said. “There were unimaginable odors. There was no running water for months.”
The toilet facilities were filthy and blocked by refuse. The kitchen was not functioning and there were no bathroom fixtures inside the house. In the kitchen there was decayed and moldy food items stored inside a filthy refrigerator.
Health department inspectors observed what appeared to be human and animal waste and feces on the floors and walls of every room in the house.
On the second floor there was garbage, cardboard boxes, plastic bags and empty food containers cluttering all the rooms.
This mass of refuge prevented full entry into these rooms. In one of the front bedrooms there was a makeshift electric cooking device in use among a pile of combustible materials such as paper garbage and cloth items.
McBride said hoarding was definitely an issue at the house. He said there was an immediate public health issue that had to be rectified.
He said in order for the judge to allow the city into the house it had to prove there was a “public health issue.”
“It was very unsafe,” McBride said.
The house now
McBride said the house still remains in a deplorable state.
“It hasn’t been cleaned up,” McBride said. “It could be razed. The property could be sold by the bank and a new house could be built there.”
“The interior still needs to be cleaned out or razed,” McBride said.
We will continue to provide updates on the condition of the animals and what happens to the house. McBride said it could take a long time for the future of the house to be decided.