WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- Over the last decade, more than 500 animals have been taken from one woman's animal rescue in West Seneca. Charges are pending against "Bob the Cat Animal Rescue" owner Donna Canorro after 55 more cats were seized Monday. The raid was prompted by neighbor complaints.
Of the cats, 12 seized from a location on Creekview Drive were feral, and were taken to the SPCA Serving Erie County, where overwhelming would be an understatement.
"We didn't have space, especially for cats, so we converted one of our dog Kennel wings into some cat housing areas," said Gina Browning, the SPCA Public Relations Director.
"We have American Humane Association, one of their representatives is here along with one of their rescue vehicles. We're housing several cats there. Niagara County Health Department sent their rescue vehicle, and we're housing some cats on that vehicle."
Ten cats were so sick they had to be euthanized. Dozens more have respiratory infections, ringworm, Feline Leukemia, and FIV.
"This is obviously going to be in the thousands of dollars. I mean, just the basic meds alone, we're already talking thousands of dollars. Now you have animals that need more extreme care, more extreme treatments," said Browning.
In addition to the animals at the SPCA, The Ten Lives Club animal shelter in Blasdell tells Time Warner Cable News that Canorro brought in 26 cats in the week and a half before Monday's raid.
"We try to take in 20, 25 in a week. Fifteen in a day is a lot to process. It's a lot of manpower. A lot of cages to set up," said Marie Edwards, 10 Lives Club Founder and President.
This is not the first time the SPCA serving Erie County has been at this animal rescue. They say they've have to remove animals almost every year for the last decade.
"This is a tough situation primarily because it is not a new situation. We've dealt with a minimum of 500 cats from this organization in the past 11 years from this organization, so it is very difficult because we are trying to work with someone who is just having a difficult time keeping things under control," said Browning.
"We've tried, in the past, to work with the business owner to help her from becoming so overwhelmed. This is something we do behind the scenes. Generally, it's not something people hear about when we are working with community members who have found themselves in over their heads."
Canorro was a volunteer with 10 Lives Club and in 2003 left to start her own shelter. Since 2004, the SPCA and 10 Lives Club have taken more than 500 cats from her.
"Some of the times, she did bring us kitties. We offered her food. We did provide food to her. Donna had a big heart. I just think she got in over her head, which a lot of animal lovers do get in over their head," said Edwards.
Both organizations are working to get the animals healthy enough to adopt. Some of those cats at the SPCA are already up for adoption. Plus both organizations say the financial cost of caring for these animals is in the thousands of dollars range.