Posted at: 01/24/2013 6:35 PM
By: Dan Levy
WRIGHT - According to Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, someone gave a woman a pregnant cat two and a half years ago, and that cat, along with subsequent generations of cats, kept doing what un-spayed and un-neutered cats do, they multiplied.
Roughly 165 cats later, the woman found herself with an unimaginably unmanageable menagerie.
The 99 cats huddled together inside the crowded cages at the Schoharie Valley Animal Shelter are the lucky ones. They're the ones that survived a nightmarish ordeal inside a home on rural State Route 146 in the town of Wright. That's where authorities seized more than 100 living cats, and two dogs, that they say were living in deplorable conditions.
"I would say it's a case of animal hoarding," asserted Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, "I know there's a lot of talk about hoarding of animals and this certainly is one of them."
It wasn't just hoarding. It was cold storage. Authorities say 67 dead cats (52 of them tiny kittens) were found inside a kitchen freezer, individually wrapped. The sheriff says he believes they were already dead before they went into the freezer.
"She was aware that she had way too many cats," said Deputy Daniel Smith, "I think she just couldn't bring herself to getting rid of the cats and she just wanted to do the best she could for the cats."
Kerrie Colin, the manager of the Schoharie Valley Animal Shelter, says the situation they're in can't last forever. She says her staff is already overwhelmed with short term veterinary concerns and vaccinations, but there's also long term care to worry about.
"We're low on kitty litter," Colin said, "We've had both cat food and kitty litter donated (Thursday morning) but we're going to go through a lot of it because we're dumping kitty litter boxes three or four times a day just so the shelter doesn't smell.
Even though no one's been arrested in the cast, authorities say charges are pending.
The animal shelter has some pending needs as well. They need money for ongoing veterinary care, and they could always use more cat food and kitty litter.