Wolcott woman charged with 59 counts of animal cruelty

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WOLCOTT–A woman who had dozens of sick and injured cats living in her home has been arrested.

Cheryl McMurray, 53, of Wolcott, turned herself in after an arrest warrant was issued yesterday charging her with 59 counts of animal cruelty.

Many of the cats found in McMurray’s Finch Road home last month were sick or injured. Many had ear mites, upper respiratory infections, dehydration and eye infections. One cat was found dead in a freezer in the home. Police believe that cat was euthanized.

Also, the house was found to be in a deplorable and unhealthy condition, with the odor of cat urine and feces detectable from outside the home. The yard was littered with garbage and bags of cat feces.

They were all seized and taken to veterinarians for treatment, and were then taken to Wolcott and Woodbury Animal Control facilities.

“I’d like to know how it got to the point it did, how she ended up with 60 cats in the house,” said Wolcott Police Sgt. Patrick Malloy the day after the search of McMurray’s home was conducted.

She was released on a promise to appear in court, but she is not allowed to own any cats or dogs while the case is pending.

Police said they began investigating the case in September, when neighbors started calling in complaints regarding the condition of a residence on Finch Road.

The complaints stated that a large number of cats were living in the residence, the outside of the property was in poor condition, and the yard was littered with garbage and bags of cat feces.

“When we were alerted by the clinics she had been bringing animals there that were unhealthy, that was kind of the final straw,” said Sgt. Malloy.


Police said the homeowner, who we now know was McMurray, was operating a cat rescue from the house, under the name of Egyptian Cat Rescue. She had been turned away from spay and neuter clinics due to the fact that the cats that were living in the house were in poor health.