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MILLCREEK -- From the street, you could smell the cat urine and animal feces. The elderly man walked in and out of the house, trying to help firefighters and animal control officers round up the cats.
"That, that's Loopy," he said, pointing to a cat in a cage. "I think. Let me see! Yeah, he's got the crazy little nose!"
"He's cute," Anne Davis, with the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah, said to the man. "They're all very, very sweet by the way."
Davis called authorities after the man originally contacted her on Thursday, seeking help to care for his pets. When she responded, she found piles of things in the man's home as high as 3 feet. There was as much as 4 inches of feces in the home.
"He's unable to care for them. He's unable to care for himself," she told KSL NewsRadio outside the home. "I just don't know how he's survived in this. It's really bad."
Wearing protective masks, deputies and firefighters would go into the house. Eventually, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department responded. The ammonia levels in the home were extremely high, deputies said.
The man lived with his mother until she died many years ago. Social workers have been to his home before, and animal control officers have responded and taken animals out of there before, Davis said. Still, nothing was really done to help him.
On Thursday, the man's caseworker with Salt Lake County Aging Services returned again to see what she could do to help. Lights were off in the home and conditions were not livable. Cages were piled outside the home. Cats meowed as they were packed into an animal control truck.
"We're not going to arrest him," Salt Lake County sheriff's Sgt. John Barker said outside the home. "We want to get him some help."