One of the cats found suffering in the hot apartment. (Source: The Arbors Apartments)
Bradley Oliver (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
The apartment was full of feces, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
At least 15 cats were abandoned and neglected. (Source: The Arbors Apartments)
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -
A man accused of abandoning 15 cats in a hot Tempe apartment for about a month has been arrested on animal cruelty charges.
The Tempe apartment at 824 W. Brown St. was full of filth and feces when management went their to serve an eviction.
Maricopa County sheriff's detectives announced Thursday they've arrested Bradley Oliver and booked him into the Fourth Avenue Jail on nine counts of animal cruelty. He was later released on $1,800 bond.
During an interview with deputies, Oliver said that he attempted to locate homes for the cats and that he provided food and water to them during the month of June, according to MCSO. He then admitted to entirely abandoning the cats in the beginning of July, sheriff's investigators said.
The cats remained in Oliver's apartment with no food or water until early August.
Melissa Murray, manager of The Arbors Apartments, said the tenant couldn't pay the rent and took off, leaving behind the helpless felines to fend for themselves in the 115-degree heat.
According to Murray, they had not received any complaints and had no idea what was going on until they checked the apartment.
"It was just cats running towards me, and it kind of startled me," said Murray. "It's one thing if that's how they wanted to live. It's another when you have animals involved that can't say what they want or what they need."
Murray told CBS 5 News that the eight cats and four kittens were in pretty bad shape, so she contacted the Tempe Police Department and tried to call an animal rescue group to help the cats.
But no one came out, so Murray and one of her tenants, Amanda Taylor, decided to go in and save the cats themselves.
The four kittens needed immediate medical attention, while Taylor nursed the other adult cats back to health.
"The smell was horrific. There's fur everywhere," said Taylor. " These animals were obviously suffering, and these people were doing nothing about it. It's just hard to imagine what kind of person could do something like that."
One of the kittens found in a kitchen drawer died, but the other cats are doing well, said Taylor.
Damages to the apartment tallied about $7,500, sheriff's deputies said.