200 cats removed from New York home

A homeowner in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. faces 41 counts of animal cruelty for keeping 200 cats in her home. In Fort Wayne, 70 cats were removed from a home Monday.

(AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth)
Jim Hershberger who lives on a homestead north of Slana, Alaska, reclaimed custody of his 22 cats on Monday, March 5, 2012. The cats were confiscated from him on Jan. 14.

An upstate New York woman has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities say they removed 200 cats – and three dogs –  from her home.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that officials with the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say they removed 153 cats and three dogs from Anna Wurtzburger's home in Hopewell Junction last Saturday.

Last month, SPCA officers say they removed 47 cats from the same home.

Wurzburger has been charged with 41 counts of animal cruelty. SPCA officials say their investigation is continuing and additional charges will be sought.

The newspaper reports that Wurzburger disputes the claims.

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Meanwhile, animal control crews have removed nearly 70 cats from a condemned one-story home in Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control spokeswoman Peggy Bender tells The Journal Gazette ( that firefighters had to wear protective gear and use air tanks to breathe while they removed cats caught in traps inside the unoccupied two-bedroom home.

She said 66 cats were in animal control's care and firefighters removed another four to five felines from the home Monday afternoon.

The home's previous residents told officials they had been picking up cats in the neighborhood and bringing them into the home. Those residents, who could face charges or fines, moved away a year ago but had continued to pay rent and utilities at the home.

In other cat news,Jim Hershberger managed to recover Monday in Anchorage, Alaska, the 22 cats that were seized from him by animal control officers on Jan. 14.

A police officer found the cats in crates inside Hershberger's gray Toyota hatchback, parked outside the shipping container where Hershberger and his dog Sheba were staying. It ranged between 5 degrees below zero and 5 above in the vehicle, police told the Anchorage Daily News.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Alaska man seeks to reclaim his 22 cats

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