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Neighbors fed up with abandoned home

Residents in a west El Paso neighborhood said an abandoned home is becoming the breeding ground for feral cats.

Resident in a west El Paso neighborhood say feral cats are taking over.

The home is in the 300 block of Chermont Drive, near Sunland Park Mall.

Though it may look lived in, neighbors said they have not seen anyone come or go in several years.

“They just left one day,” said Melissa Rutter, a resident of the neighborhood.

“I haven’t seen anybody coming in or out of the house, at all, since I’ve been here,” said Larry Thompson, whose home is nearby.

Residents tell CBS4 the unattended home has become a breeding ground for feral cats.

"First, it was just a couple. Now it's three, now it's four, now it's five, now it's six, that I've counted,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Several people we spoke with said they are tired of finding cats all over their yards and that it is becoming a nuisance to pick up after cats that are not their pets.

When we stopped by the house Thursday afternoon, we did not see any cats, but neighbors said the felines are most likely inside the abandoned home, keeping cool.

"I've tried to track down the owner and sent him a direct mail piece, certified mail, nothing,” the unidentified resident said.

The CBS4 Problem Solvers took their questions to the city of El Paso.

A spokesperson for the city said the last complaint they received was Aug. 4, regarding overgrown weeds.

Environmental Services Department inspected the property and a correction notice was given.

The city said a follow-up inspection was made Sept. 28. The violation was not corrected, so a cleanup crew cut the weeds.

"We contacted them (the city of El Paso) and I told them about the cats and they told us they couldn't do anything about [the cats],” Rutter said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers did not stop there.

We got in touch with an attorney, Carmen Perez, from Delgado Acosta Spencer Linebarger and Perez LLP, who has been asking neighbors about the house.

Perez told us she believes the homeowner died.

Now she's is trying to find any possible heirs.

Neighbors told CBS4 they hope someone will take responsibility.

"I would like to see it fixed up, maybe put up for sale, get new neighbors, because, you know, it's not a bad house,” Rutter said. “It just needs some TLC."

Perez says she was hired by the city to collect delinquent taxes.

She said taxes have not been paid on the home since 2013.

We asked the city several questions regarding the property.

A spokesperson with the city released a statement to us stating, “Abandoned buildings are in violation if they are not boarded or secured, or if the structure weakens overtime and becomes unsafe.”

The statement went on to say the city would try to contact the property owner to given them a specific time frame to fix the issue.

Regarding the feral cats, the city said residents can report the issue to Animal Services and its employees will inspect the situation.

Any complaint a resident may have can be reported to the city by calling 311.

The statement went on to say, “Residents are urged to report these items because if there is an issue the city does want to know so it can be addressed.”

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