HAMDEN – In early July, Hamden Animal Control began investigating why 16 malnourished cats were left to fend for themselves in a filthy third-floor home on Augur Street. Several other cats were found dead.
At the time, volunteers at Halfway Home Rescue animal shelter got a tip from neighbors about the cats, and rescued them after the owner gave permission.
Police said it appeared the tenant, now identified as Aaron Wall, had moved out of the apartment several weeks earlier but left the cats behind without food or water.
FOX 61 spoke with Wall in July at the Shell station where he works, just next door to the apartment. He said he started with two cats, but soon things got out of control. He said he didn’t know where to turn to for help.
The Halfway Home Rescue, which took car of the cats, started a YouCaring fundraising page in July to help pay for the costs to care for and spay and neuter all the cats, as well as give them vaccines and test for diseases. So far, they’ve raised more than $3,400 of a $4,000 goal. You can find that page here for more information.
Wall told FOX 61 he thought he’d be arrested, but police still hadn’t talked to him at that point.
Due to the piles of trash and cat feces in the apartment, the Quinnipiac Valley Health District condemned the entire Augur Street property, which includes three apartments total. Five other tenants and their pets had to find somewhere else to stay immediately.
One of the displaced tenants told FOX 61 in July that she had notified the landlord and animal control of the issue in January, but it took until July for something to be done.
“I’m so glad this is finally done and over with, but what about us? There’s no justice. Nobody has been arrested,” she said at the time. “This man has dead cats up in his apartment and we’re being put out on the street.”
Now Wall, has been charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty and was issued a $5,000 bond. He’ll be in court September 15.