Police welfare check reveals man’s body, dozens of cats

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 3:01 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Overgrown grass, tree branches on the roof and unclaimed packages caused family members of a man who lived at a home on Bailes Drive in Nitro to worry.

Nitro Police Chief Chris Fleming said relatives reached out to emergency crews when they hadn’t heard from their relative for several weeks.

The welfare check Monday ended with first responders discovering the man’s body in the home, but that’s not all crews found.

Chief Fleming said they found upward of 60 cats inside, most alive but some deceased -- coming as a shock to neighbors.

“You could tell though something was going on because of the smell,” said Chris Snodgrass, who lives next door to the house.

“This whole mountain is normally quiet as can be. We’ve lived up here 14 years here now. Here about 13 years up the mountain and you don’t have anybody’s petty problems up here, no noise no nothing really, it’s one of the best places we’ve ever lived actually.

Fleming said foul play is not suspected in the man’s death. His body was taken to the medical examiner’s office for further observation. No other details about the man were released.

Snodgrass said he had only ever noticed one cat outside the man’s home and normally, the man kept to himself.

Snodgrass said the law enforcement presence on the street kept the area blocked until the early Tuesday morning hours, more activity than he had been used to in the neighborhood.

“We’ve been up here living in this house for about a year and we just see him come out taking his trash out on trash day. That’s about it,” he said. “I just hope that they find take care of all them cats over there and their family finds a peace with all this, because I know he had been struggling.”

The Putnam County Animal Shelter is taking care of the cats that were rescued. They are looking for people to foster some of the felines until they are ready for adoption.

The shelter’s phone number is 304-586-0249.

A man’s body and dozens of cats were discovered inside a home on Monday evening, according to the Nitro Police Chief.

The discovery came during a welfare check by police after a family member told officers they had not heard from a loved one in a few weeks.

No foul play is suspected, but police say the body has been sent to the medical examiner’s office.

The chief says 60 to 70 cats were found inside the home. Several of the animals were found dead.

Further information has not been released.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.