ATTICA, N.Y. -- The New York State Police held a press conference today to give details as to why they're investigating the Wyoming County SPCA on animal cruelty allegations.
WEB EXTRA: Click here to see a photo gallery.
Troopers executed search warrants Wednesday as a result of animal cruelty allegations at the Wyoming County SPCA in Attica, as well as the Wyoming County SPCA Adoption Center located at the Eastern Hills Mall.
Troopers say they received complaints of animal cruelty and deplorable conditions within the past two weeks. State Police say their investigation isn't limited to just that. At this time, they're not saying where the allegations came from.
Former Volunteer Chris Wiehe told 2 On Your Side she and other former volunteers called authorities for what she called "hoarding" at the shelter, in addition to accusations of mistreatment of animals and misuse of money.
"Finally we got somebody to listen," Wiehe said. "And hopefully we can become again involved with this organization and make it something wonderful."
Current volunteers, including Sharon Gebel, countered Wiehe's claims, saying the animals were well taken care of and that the overcrowding was the result of a lack of adoptions and fundraising.
"I agree it wasn't the best conditions, you know, but there's so many cats," Gebel said. "It's hard because the adoptions around here, nobody wants to adopt. All they want to do is drop them off, go by and drop them off in boxes."
It's still unknown exactly how many animals are affected and what their conditions are. State Police said examining the animals could last into Thursday.
The Wyoming County District Attorney's office and Erie County SPCA is assisting in the investigation.
The Wyoming County SPCA is a non-profit, no-kill facility.
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I - 59th District) released this statement today:
As details continue to become known about today's (Wednesday's) investigation into the Wyoming County SPCA in Attica and Wyoming SPCA Adoption Center in Clarence, I hope a pattern of mistreatment is not emerging among the SPCA centers of Western New York.
When considering the recent problems that have arisen at area SPCA's, one thing is clear, New York State needs a comprehensive review of its animal shelter and adoption policies, beginning with the enactment of a new rescue access law to ensure as many animals as possible are saved and eventually placed in permanent homes. As more information becomes available, I will be addressing this matter with my fellow members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and amongst the entire Senate.