Over 200 cats were recently removed from a New York home in a hoarding situation, according to WHAM. The homeowner now faces charges of animal cruelty and neglect.
More than 200 cats recovered from New York home
An investigation has been ongoing for months into a home on Courtright Lane in Gates, New York. On June 9, officers seized 107 cats discovered in “horrible conditions.” More searches uncovered a total of 209 cats. Investigators from Lollypop Farm Humane Law Enforcement finally arrested the homeowner, Reinhardt “Roy” Belke, on Monday.
“The conditions on the premises were unsanitary and inhumane,” Lollypop Farm’s Vice President of Humane Law Enforcement Reno DiDomenico said in a release. “The house was filled with excrement and garbage, causing toxic ammonia levels.”
Some cats were so sick that they had to be euthanized. Many others are now in the care of Lollypop Farm.
“A number of the cats were humanely euthanized as their health conditions were beyond medical treatment, but many of the cats have since been adopted into loving homes within the community,” DiDomenico said.
Homeowner hoarding cats faces animal cruelty charges
Authorities charged Belke with eight counts of overdriving, torturing, injuring animals and failure to provide sustenance. He also faces 107 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal. Additionally, he may face one year in prison or a $1,000 fine for each of the 107 counts. There were no charges for the cats Belke willingly surrendered.
“Hoarding is something that is not really against the law, but the (lack of) care of the animals is against the law,” DiDomenico said.
The town also cited Belke for the conditions inside the home. A local cleanup company is working on sanitizing the property. A trial commences in mid-October.
Meanwhile, many of the cats recovered still need adoptive families. Feline friends eligible for adoption are viewable on Lollypop Farm’s website.