Shelter, 20 cats returned to Wyoming SPCA
The Wyoming County SPCA shelter and 20 remaining cats have returned to the organization’s control.
“The Erie County SPCA ended their operation on Friday and had 20 remaining cats they were not able to adopt out,” said Senior Investigator Kenneth Dubrinski of the state police.
“They were turned back over to the Wyoming County SPCA for care,” he continued. “They figured whatever issues were there, (the Wyoming County SPCA) could manage that number and attempt to continue their operation.”
The shelter on Route 98 was raided Feb. 15 as part of an investigation into animal cruelty; the improper obtaining and administering of medication; and misuse of grant funds.
A total of 518 cats were found in filthy and inadequate conditions. Between 40 and 50 have since been euthanized, due to tumors, ringworm, mouth problems, and other serious medical issues.
No charges have been filed but the investigation is continuing. Dubrinski said it will take several more weeks to complete.
“The facility itself has been turned over to (the Wyoming County SPCA),” he said. “They have some building code violations and stuff to address before they can reopen for business.”
As for now, there’s essentially nothing that would legally prevent the shelter from restarting. The Wyoming County SPCA is a corporate entity, which state police and the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office cannot dissolve.
“Barring the outcome of the criminal case, they don’t really have any other jurisdiction over it,” Dubrinski said.
Contrary to rumors, there are no immediate plans to raze the building. The location has been inspected by the Wyoming County Fire & Building Codes and Public Health departments.
“The SPCA was sent a letter of corrections to make, but at this point in time the property has not been condemned,” said Wyoming County Code Enforcement Officer Don Roberts. “At this point I’m seeing what their plan is to make those corrections.”
More than a dozen problems were found, with the shelter’s septic system the biggest, he said. Most of the other issues include holes in walls, and similar interior problems.
The Public Health findings were identical, Roberts said.
Source: The Daily News Online