Over 500 cats found living in "horrific" conditions in Attica SPCA shelter
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 15:37:54 GMT —
Update: Some of the hundreds of cats found living in 'horrific' conditions in an Attica, New York SPCA are now being cared for at the SPCA in Mattydale. Executive Director Paul Morgan tells CNYCentral that the cats, which were brought here by truck from the Wyoming County SPCA on Tuesday afternoon, will be isolated for a couple days, then given antibiotics and tested for disease. We got an exclusive look at them: most appear subdued, sleeping in the backs of their cages. They have ear mites, some have eye infections and some were coughing and sneezing, but all appear well fed. Morgan says the ones that get a clean bill of health will be socialized by staff, and could be up for adoption. The ones that are feral will be sent to farmers who've taken cats from the CNYSPCA in the past.State Police say the cats were living in "horrific" conditions. The Attica SPCA shelter was raided last Wednesday by state police and Erie County SPCA workers investigating animal cruelty reports.
We've been talking with Gina Browning at the Erie County SPCA in Buffalo---which has taken in over 300 of the cats from Attica. She says that over 500 have been found in that shelter, and they're still counting. Buffalo plans to keep and care for 40, and is frantically calling shelters around the state to find temporary homes for the rest.
"We've been in the same spot," says CNY SPCA's Paul Morgan. "In the past we had a house in Liverpool where we took out 300 cats. We've been there, and we know what it's like and yes, we did offer our help as much as we possibly could." As for the next steps, "They'll be isolated for a couple days," says Morgan, "and then we'll shoot them up with antibiotics and try to let it run in their system for at least 48 hours. And after that point, we'll start socializing with them and give them the shots they need and the testing that they need." The testing will make the difference. "If they come back feline aids or leukemia positive, it's very difficult for us, because obviously we have a healthy population here and unfortunately it spreads like water. So, unfortunately, if they come back positive we will be looking at euthanizing, with the advice of a veterinarian."
They Erie County SPCA believesbelieves over 160 cats are still at the Attica shelter, most believed to be unsocial or borderline feral, 20 to 30 actually feral, and 14 with 'social skills' but medical issues. 34 have been euthanized, because, Browning says, they were too ill to make the trip to better conditions.
State Police say the cats were living in "horrific" conditions. The Attica SPCA shelter was raided last Wednesday by state police and Erie County SPCA workers investigating animal cruelty reports. Volunteers there called them in, with worries of hoarding and animal abuse, though others at the no-kill shelter say they were overwhelmed by budget cuts and the lack of adoptions. The director of the Attica SPCA, according to Browning, has been taken into custody for questioning. No charges have been filed but the investigation is continuing.
State Senator Patrick Gallivan, whose district includes the Attica area, is now calling for a review of all animal shelters in the state and their adoption practices.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)