The Wyoming County SPCA in Attica, New York was raided by state police on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, based on allegations of animal cruelty.
Troopers wore HAZMAT suits and spent a good portion of Wednesday cleaning and removing 300-plus cats from the facility as well as three dogs. Tables were set up outside the facility to help Erie County SPCA, veterinarians, and the Attica Fire Department remove and assess the animals. At least six of the hundreds of cats had to be euthanized because of a variety of health conditions like malnourishment and dehydration.
Troopers claim that over the previous two weeks they received multiple complaints of a “hoarding situation” and were initially tipped off by a cell phone video shot by former employee Joe Isriel while he was working. Isriel said that there was not abuse, but the facility was simply overcrowded, dirty, and unsafe for the feline strays.
Allegations of hoarding have been made against SPCA manager Sue Davila, whom Isriel claims started denying potential adoptees from adopting pets for a variety of bizarre reasons. Another volunteer, Chris Wiehe, said Davila is a good person who truly loves the animals but had allowed the situation to become a hoarding problem. However, another volunteer claimed that the animals were well cared for, but that adoptions couldn’t keep up with the number of cats dropped off.
The cats have been signed over to the police and the dogs taken to an animal care facility. The Erie SPCA has volunteered to take the cats to its facility until they can be adopted.
February is Responsible Pet Parents Month and part of being a responsible pet parent is helping to ensure the stray population is low, so that animals have long, healthy lives. Make sure you have your pet spayed or neutered.