W.Pa. cat shelter animal cruelty hearing to resume Tuesday

The chief veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says he was shocked by deplorable conditions at an Allegheny County cat sanctuary. Full Story
WakeUpCall

United States

#1 Apr 30, 2008
Go and check this vet's salary and do the math...wonder how much of a bonus he will get for this testimony...SHAME on you Howard!!!! There are other ways to get donations for the PSPCA....And while we are at it, go and check Howard Nelson's stats on euthanasia....Maybe Dr Ravi wouldn't mind taking a salary cut to help out all of those animals that he is having nightmares about with medicine to get well. At least the ones that he and Howard haven't euthanized yet...
WakeUpCall

United States

#2 Apr 30, 2008
Dr Ravindra Mararka made over $183,000 in 2003... yes, 5 years ago....Wonder what he made last year and does the PSPCA give bonuses?
Queen Heart

Kunkletown, PA

#3 May 1, 2008
Murarka said he has had nightmares -- from when
an eyeball in one of the cats he was treating fell out into his hand.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtri ...

Cat shelter rife with disease, vets say

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
PITTSBURGH -- Hours of gruesome testimony ran overtime Tuesday in the preliminary hearing of Linda Bruno, the owner and operator of Tiger Ranch, a cat sanctuary in Frazer that officials say was run amok.

The hearing was continued until Tuesday after a five-hour slide show of dozens of cats who were found diseased, sickly and dead on Bruno's property last month.

Expert witness veterinarians Dr. Ravindra Murarka and Dr. Becky L. Morrow listed conditions and descriptions to match the images of the sickest cats on the ranch.

There were cats whose limbs and joints were covered with bursting abcesses; cats with ulcerated and jaundiced mouths; cats with glaucoma and conjunctivitis so bad their eyes looked like dollops of burnt cherry pie; cats with severe infections that covered or destroyed their eyes and left their faces bathed in slime or molded over like old bread.

There were cats found dead in litter boxes and pregnant cats whose kittens didn't survive exposure to the rampant, infectious viruses that contaminated the ranch.

There were so cats many that each one had to have a number and a letter so the doctors could keep track.

Many of the cats were already comatose or couldn't move, Murarka said.

"They were sluggish, depressed," he said. "Even from a distance you could see that they weren't able to move, and they were just sitting around."

Some walls were covered with a crust of unknown biological material, one of the factors doctors say helped spread the viruses and germs -- including to Murarka, who developed bronchitis after the raid, he testified.

During a break, Murarka said he has had nightmares -- from when an eyeball in one of the cats he was treating fell out into his hand.

Earlier in the proceedings, Bruno pleaded not guilty to 574 counts of animal cruelty, which stem from a March 13 raid on her 29-acre, no-kill cat sanctuary off Bakerstown Road.

Authorities found more than 600 cats in all, including about 200 dead ones. Of the 406 found alive, many had to be euthanized or died while being transported to a makeshift shelter in Clarion County. Authorities also found nine dogs, eight horses, chickens and a goat living on Bruno's property. Charges were filed involving the horses and goat, too.

The revised, 218-page criminal complaint charges Bruno with 203 misdemeanor counts of willfully and maliciously killing, maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring a cat, as well as 371 summary counts of cruelly ill-treating, beating, or otherwise abusing an animal, or neglecting the animal from care, food, water, clean shelter, and veterinary care.

The hearing was moved from the West Deer courtroom of District Judge Suzanne Blaschak to the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh to accommodate a large audience of Bruno supporters and detractors. Several did not testify but offered their opinions.

Elaine Gower, an officer with the Humane Society of Somerset County, said she has been to Bruno's ranch as recently as the end of February to give her feral cats who had nowhere else to go. Gower does not have jurisdiction as an inspecting officer there, but, she said, "I didn't see a problem."

Bill Smith of Concord Township said people often come onto his property to drop off unwanted cats. He gave 30 of them to Bruno, and said he has no regrets.

"It's a nursing home for cats," he said. "I believe she's being railroaded."

Others, like Adrienne McGrail, a member of Voices For Animals of Western Pennsylvania, say Bruno gives no-kill shelters a bad name.

"If you can't take care of the animals you have, don't take in more," she said.

The hearing will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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