ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) - State police raided the Wyoming County SPCA, calling conditions there worse than deplorable. Veterinarians are treating hundreds of cats, but several had to be put down.
Thursday, efforts began to find all these cats new homes. Several rescue groups are taking dozens and dozens of the cats to their shelters, for adoption. The cat adoption center at the Eastern Hills Mall is bustling with activity.
Up until now, the satellite adoption center in the mall was run by the Wyoming County SPCA. But following Wednesday's New York State Police raid of the main shelter in Attica, the cat adoption center has been taken over by the Erie County SPCA, which is overseeing the transfer of cats to several rescue shelters in the region, including the Ten Lives Club in Hamburg.
Ten Lives founder and president Marie Edwards said, "The need is very urgent for adoptions right now. We're making room in foster homes, we're making room in extra cages, with our stores, everything just to make room for all these cats."
As many as 400 cats were found crammed into close quarters at the Wyoming County shelter in Attica. The problem of too many cats goes back at least five years. In 2007 the shelter's manager, Susan Davila, told News 4'sw Luke Moretti what she perceived as one of the problems.
"It's hard to adopt them out because a lot of them are adults. Everybody wants kittens," claimed Davila.
But New York State Police investigators believe Davila became a hoarder of cats, leading to what were described as horrendous conditions in her shelter. Volunteers who quit after they said their suggestions were ignored, finally blew the whistle on Davila and her board.
Former adoption manager Chris Wiehee said, "We told them when we left we would fight. We told them exactly what we were going to do, and we've done it."
There are new calls for state laws that would set minimum standards for shelters, or even hold board members personally liable if conditions are allowed to deteriorate.
Erie County SPCA executive director Barbara Carr said, "Put people on the spot and make them accountable for not doing what they're supposed to do."
There is a number to call if you or your organization would like to play a role in the emergency adoption of the cats from Wyoming County. You can call 629-3505. Gina Browning of the Erie County SPCA will take your information.
A tractor trailer veered off the road and went through a fence, while crashing into the Forest Hill Cemetery, in Fredonia, Friday morning.
Officials in Wyoming have captured a wanted man and his girlfriend, who were allegedly heading to Buffalo.
After a slow and slippery commute Thursday night, many western New Yorkers are waking up early, hoping they can get to work on time Friday morning.
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained a court order to prevent a Buffalo woman from ever selling puppies again.
Around 5 p.m. on Thursday near the corner of Model City Road and Rt. 104, police say 84-year-old Jose Martinez was hit by a car driven by 82-year-old Maura Nolan. Both are residents of Lewiston.
Santa Land is returning to Chestnut Ridge Park, on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.