The Daily Gazette
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Schoharie County woman with 99 cats faces charges

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— The woman who surrendered 99 cats and a dog to authorities last month, and whose Schoharie County home held 67 dead cats in a freezer, has been arrested on charges of animal cruelty.

Irene VanDyke, 50, of Wright, was arrested Monday after a months-long investigation by Schoharie County agencies, according to a Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office release issued today. She was charged with failure to provide sustenance and cruelty to animals, and was issued an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Wright Court on March 11.

The Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department and area animal shelter officials rescued the animals during two disturbing visits last month to VanDyke’s home, where they found the dead cats individually wrapped in plastic bags, an old and partially blind dog, and the noticeable smell of feces and urine.

The massive rescue put local shelters at capacity. Currently, the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley is in possession of the animals, which are ready for adoption. Anyone interested in adopting can contact the shelter at 296-8390.

Reach Gazette reporter Bethany Bump at 395-3107 or



February 27, 2013
9:04 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I am so sick of hearing these stories! The penalties for this and all forms of animal abuse need to be much harsher.