COLONIE, N.Y. - Colonie Police and animal control removed cats from a local woman's home, and it wasn't the first time this happened.
Police executed a search warrant at the home on John Street, which is owned by Margaret Tomko. The warrant came after complaints from Tomko's neighbors, who said there was a strong smell of urine emanating from the house.
It took several knocks by Colonie Police Officers to get the attention of Tomko. As she opened her window to find out officers had a warrant to search her home for feral cats.
"At first you thought she was taking care of them and you don't know how many are in the house," said neighbor Lisa Yakel. "But, then you see them and there's blood things draining out of their noses. They are sick."
Arlene Blasen, another neighbor said "It's not good for these animals to live under conditions like that."
The Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society assisted in removing seven feral cats from the house. The organization said the cats have respiratory illnesses, were dehydrated, and are infested with fleas.
One of the cats is missing part of its lip, an old wound that was never cared for.
In 2010 nearly 70 cats were found to be living in Tomko's home. The charges against Tomko were dropped.
"She was let go with a slap on the hand, instead of helping her then," said Tina Murray with the Mohawk Humane Society.
It happens and if there's no type of aftercare it generally happens again.
Police are hoping for charges once again against Tomko. They believe that this time she might be required to seek help for what they believe is hoarding behavior.
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