Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One popular cat 3/28

I’ve been trying to reach out to Saratoga County Animal Shelter Supervisor Dan Butler all day to do a follow-up on the roughly 135 cats that were seized from a single trailer at a Halfmoon mobile home park on Monday. Click here in case you missed it.

I haven’t been able to get him on the phone, but I did talk to an employee there who filled me in on something that I thought you guys might appreciate. The employee, who didn’t want to identify himself, said the shelter has gotten over 100 calls today. That’s more than he can ever remember the shelter getting.

 “Every time I pick up the phone it’s something about the cats,” he said, but the overwhelming majority of those adoption inquiries are about the Siamese cat that was on the front page of Wednesday’s Saratogian. The employee said the cat seems to be the only one that people want. I can certainly see why.

There was something exceptionally sassy, for lack of a better word, about that one. You can see it in the “Are you for real?” expression it’s giving in the great picture Erica Miller took that I've attached above. It's the cat on the right, for the record.

That cat, ironically, was also on the front page of another local paper and featured prominently in a local television station’s report about the animal shelter. It'll have no problem finding a home.

The shelter, though, has plenty of other cats – and dogs – available for adoption. I saw a guinea pig and rat when I was there Tuesday. The rats were $5. That's unbeatable. Some are available now, but the cats that were taken Halfmoon won’t be available until some paperwork is cleared up. The cats all need to be spayed, neutered and vaccinated, too. Butler said yesterday.

If you're interested in adopting, call the shelter at 885-4113. They're also looking to expand their network of foster homes, where some cats are placed until they're mature enough to be adopted.

 One other update: Butler told me yesterday that the cats were taken from a woman, so I wrote the story that way. I’ve since gotten calls telling me the cats were taken from a man. State Police, in a release announcing the removal, said they were taken from an owner. The police didn’t specify a gender.

When I talked to Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III yesterday, I specifically asked about the woman hoarding cats in Halfmoon. Going back through my notes, he didn’t correct me, but he also never explicitly told me it was a woman. OK, then. I reached out to him Wednesday for a follow-up.

He said it “looks like (there are) three targets of the investigation at this point,” but he wouldn’t give me anything about gender. I know the owner(s) hasn’t been charged, but that lack of disclosure seems very odd to me. Based on Murphy’s statement, though, the cats could have been taken from any combination of males and females.

State Police said charges are anticipated and could come as soon as this weekend.

UPDATE, 10:15 a.m. Thursday: We just received an e-mail from The Daily Mail asking us if they could use some of our photos for a story they are doing on the cats. Looks like it's gone international.

I Google'd "130 cats" just to see what kind of other media attention this story is getting and came across the following video. It's not the inside of the Halfmoon trailer, but I think it gives you a pretty good idea of what it probably looked like.

Until next time,

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