An elderly man (96) who had to survive in miserable circumstances was brought to safety by the police in Ojai, California on Thursday. An estimated 700 rats lived in his house full of feces and garbage, alongside some pets. Daughter Catherine Ann Vandermaesen (65) has been arrested and is in jail. She left her father entirely to his own devices.
The woman refused access to a few municipal officials from the welfare service last Wednesday when they wanted to enter the rural home. The group returned the next day, this time under the supervision of the police.
The officers did not know what they saw when they entered the house. The rats were teeming with traces of bowel movements and urine everywhere. Eight dogs, two rabbits, a cat, a parrot, and 55 rats were taken into the rooms filled with garbage.
It is estimated that up to seven hundred rats lived in and around the house. Catherine Ann Vandermaesen’s older sister (74) was also taken away in an ambulance. The police regard the sister as a victim rather than a suspect.
The nineties is glued to a wheelchair. His daughter has deliberately neglected him, causing his health to deteriorate considerably, the indictment says. The pets were also in very bad shape, Vandermaesen is, therefore, being prosecuted for animal neglect. The municipality of Ojai has declared the property uninhabitable.