JOHNSONVILLE, N.Y. - State police were called to Johnsonville in Rensselaer County last Thursday to investigate the apparent dumping of dead cats by a suspected area animal hoarder.
An anonymous caller said they saw 53-year-old Arthur Millard, with dual residence of Johnsonville and Halfmoon, leaving plastic containers at the rear of his father's property, where he was also residing, located at 90 River Road.
State police responded to the residence and found three containers with the remains of 44 dead cats and kittens.
Upon questioning, Millard admitted to state troopers that he had dumped an unknown quantity of carcasses earlier in the week just behind the home and that the cats had all died of natural causes. He would not admit where the cats originated from.
Investigators removed 42 Ziploc bags from three garbage bags containing the remains of 42 kittens and two adult cats wrapped in towels. They say the animals were mostly decomposed; the remains consisted primarily of skin and fur, the animals' organs had liquefied.
Millard was arrested last Monday after police discovered 134 cats inside a trailer at a Halfmoon trailer park on Route 146. In that case, two cats were found deceased at the scene and 19 more needed to be euthanized.
"This is an incredibly disturbing case. We suspect these animals suffered horribly before they died. Not only were there over 130 cats in Mr. Millard's home in Halfmoon, but here we have another 44 dead animals. We're not sure if they had been in the Halfmoon house or if he still has cats at another location," said Brad Shear Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
State police and the Humane Society are continuing to investigate Millard and members of his family on suspicion that they may still have additional cats at another address. Additional charges are expected.
Millard's father did not have knowledge of the incident until time of questioning by officials and is not considered involved.
Troy Animal Control assisted with the transportation of the evidence to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands.
Millard was also arrested last year for animal cruelty in Schaghticoke, but was released on an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.
Police are asking anyone with more information about other cats Millard may have been involved with to call them at 518-783-3211.
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