Any "normal rational thinker" would not do this. Much like the homeless problem, these folks truly do have mental problems that the general public does not care about, well not until some things like this stir up.
Here is another story a bit like this:
I moved to Minnesota with my girlfriend a few years back. Our first apartment was a few blocks from my work and I would walk there everyday. There was this one house on a corner a block from us, all the windows were covered up, the yard was dirty and all the plants and trees dead. Looked liked something out of a Brothers Grimm tale.
Anyhoo.....the place reaked of cats, like a huge litter box. Everyday I would walk by, and some days the lady would be unloading several 20# bags of cat food and litter, enough to fill her truck bed.
About 2 years later she was caught with over 200+ live cats living in her house, but not to mention the several hundred dead cats that were piled on the floors and even dead in the walls. Turns out there were more dead than alive, and the number was somewhere around 500 cats ( believe it was like 490+). One of the firemen, whom did part of the clean-up, said they seriously had shoveled dead cats out of the house and that the walls were filled with dead bodies, some of which were several years old! The dead were so piled up in places that they were nearly waist high! The clean up took weeks to finish, as they had to do something with all of these animals.
This is a seriously sick problem I agree, but to be fair, this woman had severe mental problems and in respect did not know what she was really doing. A lot of people will jump in and judge this person, yet most folks that end up in this scenario do have in some way some mental problems that need to be evaluated. As such, should be treated in that way.
On a flip side, I have know people to have nearly 40 cats, without giving proper medical attention that had no known mental problems and were "strong and avid members" of society, at least till they were caught
I think that hurt them there.....