Thursday, January 27, 2011

City's first 'animal hoarders' are indicted

By Thomas Tracy

A Williamsburg couple are the first people indicted under New York’s new animal-hoarding law — and the two are now facing one to two years in prison for keeping over 100 animals in a loft in Williamsburg.

Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes said that Michael Fiore, 51, and his wife Hazel Fiore, 57, had the cats and kittens stuffed into a filthy, feces-filled third floor space on Metropolitan Avenue between Manhattan and Graham avenues that they had rented for their silk screening business.

Their hoarding wasn’t discovered until last July when five of the cats — two of which were blind — fell through the urine-soaked and rotting floorboards into the hallway below, prosecutors said.

The ASPCA then launched an investigation and entered the loft, finding a fetid feline prison: a stifling, garbage and feces-strewn loft filled with flee-infested cats suffering from malnutrition and a host of other ailments.

Many of the cats were left blind from eye infections, while others were dehydrated, emaciated and had respiratory problems.

But they were the lucky ones: several decaying cat carcasses were found throughout the loft, officials said.

Michael Fiore — who admitted to not properly caring for the cats — was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and the overdriving, torturing and injuring of animals. If convicted, he faces two years in prison.

His wife Hazel was charged with a misdemeanor count of overdriving, torturing and injuring of animals and faces one year in jail if convicted, prosecutors said..." Link

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