Animal Hoarder Relates To Man Killed By Police

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(Memphis) There is at least one Memphis man who says he can relate to the man shot and killed by police.

He too is an animal hoarder who wanted to protect his animals at all costs.

"I had too many cats and other critters around," said Veteran Chuck Watson.

That problem created many more.

"He had two huge holes where raccoons were living in his house," said Whitney Bray, a case manager at Alpha Omega Veterans Services.

"I had holes in the roof and ceiling," said Watson.  "So whenever it would rain, it would rain on my bed in my bedroom."

"There was petrified poo all though the entirety of the house," said Bray.

That's how Watson lived when he met  Bray. She helps run Alpha Omega Veterans Services that gives homeless and disabled vets a place to live. She offered Watson a way out, "It just broke my heart. I just couldn't see anyone living that way. But his only concern was the animals."

That's why Watson say he can relate to the animal hoarder shot and killed by police over the weekend.

The Cordova man was Watson's age, also a veteran, and said he would rather die than let officers take his animals away.

"That's understandable," said Watson.  "In my situation, I don't have another human being in my life and I don't have children so maybe these were like surrogates, where I could put my love and affection towards them."

Even though Watson was living in filth, it still took him two weeks to accept help from Veterans Services. But he did,  and Watson now lives with roommates in transitional housing on Madison avenue.

Bray convinced him to leave his house, on condition that she would help find homes for his seventeen cats. She's since found places for all of them but three.

"I'm not necessarily obsessed about it because there is nothing I can do about it but it's still on the back of my mind," said Watson.

But Watson says he's learning that he comes first and animals second.  And hey should never cost him his life.

If you would like to learn more about Alpha Omega Veterans Service, click here: