Health director expects hoarder's home will be razed

Milford Health Director Dr. A. Dennis McBride said he expects a hoarder's home will be razed after a number of officials gained access to it about two weeks ago and removed more than 20 animals from the premises.

McBride said the city received a number of complaints about the house at 19 Ocean Avenue, but as the house was in foreclosure and the resident would not allow access to the home, getting inside took time.

“There were complaints about the odor and flies,” McBride said.

The animals removed from the house — including 16 cats, three dogs and a parrot — were taken to a veterinarian and proved to be in fairly good health, McBride said.

He said he believes the animals have been taken to local shelters.

“We took more stringent action in this case,” McBride said, “because the person was uncooperative and repeatedly wouldn't let us in.”

The issue of hoarding is nothing new in the city. Dr. McBride and his health department staff have been focusing on the problem a number of years, even holding forums to help educate other emergency and social service representatives about the problem.

This recent matter, he said, had to go through the courts.

McBride, along with members of the Health Department, Animal Control, Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works arrived converged on the scene, and declared it unfit for human habitation.

The resident was taken to an area hospital for a medical assessment, and then referred to social services, McBride said.

The house is now under health department control, and McBride said he will be surprised if it isn't leveled.

Milford Patch reported that the inside of the house was in deplorable condition — “the toilet facilities were filthy and blocked by refuse. The kitchen was not functioning and there were no bathroom fixtures inside the house. In the kitchen there was decayed and moldy food items stored inside a filthy refrigerator.

“Health department inspectors observed what appeared to be human and animal waste and feces on the floors and walls of every room in the house,” Patch reported.

When city officials converged on the house about two weeks ago, they brought an exterminator, and they attempted to address some of the overgrown shrub and vegetation outside the house, McBride said.