(WBNG Binghamton) The SPCA of Tompkins County has seized 17 cats from the home of an Ithaca woman.
According to a news release:
Kristen Inman has been charged with one count of New York State Ag & Markets 353 (failure to provide proper sustenance) and one count of Ag & Markets 356 (failure to provide food, drink and wholesome air to a confined animal).
The case began in mid-September when the SPCA was contacted by the building management of the apartment. Inman had not been seen for more than a week and it was known that cats were in the apartment.
SPCA officers investigated and found 17 cats living in squalor. The cats had no food or water, the apartment was covered in urine and feces, and garbage was strewn everywhere. The SPCA Humane Investigators, wearing respirators and protective gear and assisted by the Ithaca Police Department, removed the cats from the apartment.
The cats were taken to the SPCA for full medical evaluations. All of them were dehydrated, underweight, severely infested with fleas and ear mites, and most were not spayed or neutered. For more than two months, the cats have been sheltered and cared for by the SPCA, recovering to full health. Four of the cats are currently available for adoption, thirteen are still in limbo pending the resolution of the case. Inman’s next court date is scheduled on December 14 (9:00 AM, Ithaca City Court).
SPCA executive director Jim Bouderau says, “This was a horrible situation, and it is amazing that all 17 cats survived. This case also put our already full shelter over the edge – we’ve had an outbreak of feline upper respiratory infection that has made us turn areas normally reserved for healthy cats into mini-infirmaries. Due to overcrowding, we even have a few cats housed in empty dog rooms in our adoption center.”
Bouderau goes on to say, “If members of the public would like to help, we have an urgent need for ‘medical’ foster homes for cats suffering URIs and adoptions of adult cats to reduce the overcrowding that creates stress for the animals which then leads to illness.”