Residents of a long-neglected Bushwick building have been evacuated from their home, which the city has declared unsafe—but their cats remain inside, and the neighbor who promised to care for them is unable to get to them.
Nelson, a former resident of the 3-story residential building at 17 Belvidere Street, tells Bushwick Daily that his home had long been in disrepair after the death of the building’s owner. Records indicate that a Department of Buildings Emergency Response Team declared the home out of compliance with the city’s building code after a visit to the address on January 14th.
Neighbors tell Bushwick Daily that the building had long been without a door over its front entrance, and its front yard was often stacked with trash.
Building residents who vacated the premises last weekend had kept several pet cats in their home. Since their future housing situation was unclear, they asked a concerned neighbor if he might be able to care for their pets.
But on Saturday, the neighbor told Bushwick Daily that the building had been secured against re-entry—and that the cats were inside. “I’ve seen them come to the windows,” he explained, saying that he’d tried calling the city to gain access without results thus far.
Bushwick Daily has reached out to the Department of Buildings and to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals and will update with additional information as it is received.
UPDATE: Steve Gruber, the Director of communications for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, tells Bushwick Daily that Animal Care Centers of NYC visited 17 Belvidere to address the situation and found that the cats are no longer locked inside.