Provided photo
Editor’s Note: Want to give $10 to get $20? Want to see in-depth journalism about Ithaca?
 
Do both at once! See our 2-week “Spotlight on Ithaca” campaign to help your community — and yourself.

Donate to ‘Spotlight on Ithaca’

[do_widget id= text-55 ]

Update: The 28 animals seized from a hoarding situation last week will be moving onto the adoption floor Wednesday and throughout the weekend after being spayed or neutered and monitored for behavioral and medical conditions.

Executive Director Jim Bouderau said, “All of these animals seem to have grown up with people.” He added that they don’t seem to be displaying antisocial behavior or shy behavior at this time.

He said officials seized the pets and found three dead ones at a Newfield trailer last Wednesday after a five or six month long investigation. During that time, officials conducted interviews with neighbors and monitored the home, where two people also lived.

Provided photo

He said that when one of the dogs ran away from the residence on Nov. 5, it gave investigators the chance they needed to go onto the property and, afterward, secure a search warrant.

Charges are not being filed against the owners until officials can determine how the three deceased animals died.

All but four of the cats were living in the home, including a 126-pound English Mastiff and two-pound lap dogs.

“Certainly it was some of the worst conditions we have seen,” Bouderau said, though it was not the biggest hoarding situation the Tompkins SPCA has dealt with.

He said that in 2010, about 104 animals were seized from the town of Caroline. About two years ago, 74 cats were taken from a home.

He said Wednesday’s seizure was fortunate to have happened when it did because most of the animals were not spayed or neutered.

“This could have turned into 100 animals three months from now with all the unaltered animals in the home,” Bouderau said.

Two dogs and a rabbit are still being monitored for health conditions and some of the animals are are being treated for intestinal parasites. But Bouderau said the healthy animals are being moved onto the adoption floor Wednesday (The SPCA is closed to the public on Wednesdays. See below for hours.).

He encouraged anyone interested in adopting the animals to contact the SPCA or visit the facility at 1640 Hanshaw Road during business hours.

He also encouraged people who cannot adopt to consider making donations. Medical costs alone, he said, cost about $600 per animal and large seizures of animals stretch the facility’s budget.

The Dorothy and Roy Park Pet Adoption Center is open for adoptions every day except Wednesday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon to 7:00 p.m. The SPCA Annex at The Shops at Ithaca Mall is open Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to  7:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Donations can be made securely at spcaonline.com, by calling 607-257-1822 x232 or x247, or by emailing gifts@spcaonline.com. Members of the public seeking more information on adoptions should email adoptions@spcaonline.com to find out more.

The following are 16 photos of the animals seized. Some were unavailable for photos for various reasons.

_______

NEWFIELD, N.Y. — Officials have seized about 30 animals from a Newfield trailer with a hoarding situation after a months long investigation.

The trailer was covered in urine and feces, and garbage and debris was strewn everywhere, Executive Director Jim Bouderau said in a news release.

He said investigators and veterinary support had to wear respirators and protective gear to safely enter the home. Tompkins County Sheriff’s deputies were also at the scene to provide assistance.

In total, 15 dogs, four rabbits, eight cats, and a chinchilla were seized from the home. Dead animals were also found at the residence.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more details. 

The SPCA distributed the following news release about the incident:

The SPCA of Tompkins County executed a search warrant in the Town of Newfield Wednesday, November 11 for a suspected hoarding and neglect case.

As a result of a lengthy and ongoing investigation, 30 animals were seized and brought to the shelter for evaluation and medical treatment. The case began several months ago as a result of complaints from diligent neighbors and involve individuals known to the SPCA for some time now.

SPCA officers found 15 dogs, 4 rabbits, 8 cats, and 1 chinchilla in a trailer living in complete squalor, along with the remains of three previously deceased animals. The residence was covered in urine and feces, and garbage and debris was strewn everywhere.

The SPCA Humane Investigators, along with veterinary support, had to wear respirators and protective gear to be able to enter the premises.

They were able to remove the animals from the dwelling safely and collect evidence over the course of a few hours. The Tompkins County Sherriff’s Office was also on site for assistance.

The animals were taken to the SPCA for full medical evaluations and recovery. Many of them were dehydrated, covered in feces, severely infested with fleas and ear mites, and most were not spayed or neutered.

Many have already tested positive for intestinal parasites. Necropsies are being performed to determine the cause of death of the previously deceased animals.

SPCA executive director Jim Bouderau states, “This is a horrible situation, especially knowing that three animals did not make it out alive. It is amazing that 30 animals had survived living in these horrendous conditions. While this is not the largest case we have ever seen, it was certainly one of the worst in terms of living conditions.”

This case is also a cautionary one for members of the public looking to rehome their animals. “We believe that most of these animals were acquired through the internet on sites such as Facebook and Craigslist.” Bouderau says. “People need to be incredibly cautious when seeking to rehome their owned pets through these sites. As a shelter, we are in some ways grateful that people try and solve their own problems if they can no longer take care of their pet. However, there is a very real danger they can end up in a hoarding situation like this if owners are not meticulous in the screening process.”

Bouderau goes on to state, “If members of the public would like to help, we ask that donations be made to our Angel Fund for medical and humane emergencies. Having just concluded one of our busiest times of the year in ‘kitten season’, and with our reserves already depleted, this large influx of animals in need severely impacts our day to day operations at the shelter, as well as our financial resources.”

While the investigation is still ongoing, and charges have yet to be filed, the majority of the animals have already been signed over to the SPCA and will be put up for adoption as soon as possible. The SPCA hopes that the resolution of the case will come soon so that all of the animals from this case of hoarding and neglect can find the caring and healthy homes that they deserve.

The mission of the SPCA of Tompkins County is to protect companion animals. We are a no-kill shelter dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and overpopulation. We promote responsible pet stewardship by providing education, counseling and training to nurture and enhance the human-animal bond.

The Dorothy and Roy Park Pet Adoption Center is open for adoptions every day except Wednesday from 12:00-5:00 p.m. and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00-7:00 p.m. The SPCA Annex at The Shops at Ithaca Mall is open Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Donations can be made securely at spcaonline.com, by calling 607-257-1822 x232 or x247, or by emailing gifts@spcaonline.com. Members of the public seeking more information on adoptions should email adoptions@spcaonline.com to find out more.

Disclosure: Reporter Jolene Almendarez volunteers at the SPCA of Tompkins County once a week. 

[do_widget id= text-61]

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.