A NEW Zealand man found with almost 60 cats in his house was facing animal cruelty charges after another 38 were found dead in his freezer.

Auckland’s Donald Cruickshank, 77, allegedly stored the cat bodies wrapped in bloody newspaper and fabric bags next to food in two fridges and freezers. Police found them when they visited his home in December.

Animal welfare group SPCA claimed its inspectors also found 19 cats running around his house, 17 cats locked in cages in unhygienic conditions and 23 cats in a fly-infested downstairs unit.

It seized all the animals and claimed to have treated 22 cats that were ill with severe infections.

Cruickshank, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, told the Herald that he had the cats in his freezer for at least three years because he did not have time to bury them. He said he was a cat lover.

“It’s not that unusual for people to do this, I might add,” Cruickshank said. “I haven’t got some kinky idea of doing things like that.”