MILLER PLACE - Animal shelter workers removed more than 40 cats from a home on Henearly Drive in Miller Place today.

Workers from the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton removed the animals, describing the house as a "hoarder house" and animals as neglected. The shelter plans to spay and neuter the cats, vaccinate them and try to find them homes.

Homeowner Elaine Shellenberger says the cats got out of hand after she lost her husband, mother and mother-in-law.

Rita Muszik, of Volunteers for Animal Welfare, says she spent the past two years trying to get Shellenberger to give up the animals. "She turned to the cats for comfort, she felt she was needed by them, and she felt she was helping," Muszik says.

Workers with the animal shelter say the home doesn't have air conditioning and that raccoons were getting inside. They say that because the home is structurally stable and basic health standards are being met, the town won't step in.

Neighbors say the cats have been a problem on the block for years.