A Toronto couple has been evicted from their apartment over concerns about the dozens of animals inside.
Outside of his apartment where several cats roamed, Peter Wilson laid out his case.
“My wife and I are homeless. I am trying to maintain some semblance of sanity in all of this madness,” Wilson told Global News.
Wilson and his wife are seniors and said he is a Canadian veteran. As for why they are being evicted, Wilson said “it’s a very long story” while referencing a legal dispute with the landlord.
However, the other side of the story is quite different. It involves extensive complaints about the stench of cat urine eminating from the apartment.
Wilson agreed that dozens of cats in an apartment is a bit much, but he insisted the cats were well cared for.
“Absolutely, there were mitigating circumstances,” he said.
“The main concern, our concern, is the well-being of the animals.”
The landlords have been trying to evict the Wilsons for a year. After the appeals process was exhausted and the landlords were finally able to get in, it was far worse than anyone knew. Injured, sick and skinny cats roamed throughout the apartment and several had eye infections.
“I was lost for words, I couldn’t have even imagined anything like this. There was no space where there wasn’t a cat,” said Brittany Attar, the building’s property manager.
The OSPCA is investigating and no charges have been laid against the couple.
In all, 68 cats and kittens were taken to area humane societies and are now in various conditions.
A dog was also found by officials. Some neighbours told Global News they believed the dog was dead as they said they didn’t see her in a year. The Toronto Human Society confirmed the dog was in such poor health, she had to be euthanized.
When asked about a previous animal hoarding-related conviction, Wilson said, “I think this interview is over now.”
In 2008, the Wilsons were convicted of three charges related to more than 50 dogs and two cats they owned.
“To subject the animals to the living conditions in the couple’s apartment was criminal. The couple’s conduct was wilful,” wrote the judge in his decision.
Wilson was asked if it wasn’t the same situation again.
“Completely different, completely different,” he said.