SCHAGHTICOKE, N.Y. — Months after nearly 150 cats were found living inside a Schaghticoke, the last three are being put up for adoption Thursday.
Officials called it one of the worst cases of animal hoarding that they have ever seen this past October. The rescued cats were taken to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands where they received treatment for eye infections, respiratory diseases, intestinal worms, and fleas.
It hasn’t been easy finding forever home for the cats, according to the society’s Executive Director Brad Shear, especially since most suffered from severe respiratory illnesses and eye infections. But he says the community’s support for the felines has been unreal, and that the last three, Michael, John and Momma as she’s known, will be ready for adoption Thursday and ready to close a chapter on this tragic tale.
When she was taken from the home, Momma was pregnant, covered in fleas, and had an infection that was so bad, it cost her an eye.
“I can’t imagine, but you would never guess it she’s so perfect, she’s the best cat,” said Shelly Gallagher, Momma’s foster mom.
The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society says community support for the cats has been incredible. People like Gallagher opened their wallets and homes to care for the nearly cats, all with stories just like Momma’s.
“It’s incredible to see the change in these animals and the spirit they have to recover,” said Shear.
Shear says the hold up for Momma and her babies was the wait for the kittens to reach eight weeks of age and two pounds before adoption, and to make sure Momma was with them until they did.
The floors of the home the animals lived in were covered in feces, and several deceased cats were found within the residence, according to authorities. Fire crews actually had to be called in to help remove cats from the walls of the home.
Five were arrested on alleged animal abuse charges in connection to that case. Earl Millard, Regina Millard, Edward Ryan, Mary Ryan, and Bertha Ryan were all arrested and each charged with 106 counts for violating the agriculture and markets law for failure to provide sustenance to three specific cats, according to State Police. They all remain out on bail.
In 2012 State Police said a previous warrant was executed on the home, and more than 130 sick or dead cats and kittens were removed in that time. Three people were arrested in 2012 in connection to that case: Arthur Millard, Earl Millard, and Mary Ryan. Family members living in the home have been arrested a total of three times in the past – all over allegations of hoarding animals.