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Owner of 45 pets faces cruelty charge

A Cheektowaga woman was charged with animal cruelty after the Erie County SPCA confiscated 45 dogs, cats, rabbits, exotic birds and a hamster from her home Friday.

"It was wall-to-wall feces and garbage," SPCA spokeswoman Gina Browning said.

Barbara M. Guay, 61, will answer one count of animal cruelty Thursday in Cheektowaga Town Court.

Browning said a complaint was made to the Cheektowaga Housing and Neighborhood Preservation office of a strong cat odor. Animal cruelty investigator Charles Braun checked out the home on Croydon Drive Thursday, and reported hearing a dog barking, birds flying in the house, dogs on the porch and waste and flies on window blinds.

Braun executed a search warrant Friday morning with Cheektowaga police and housing inspectors.

"The conditions inside were atrocious, obviously," said Larry Kensy, housing inspector, but he added from the outside "you wouldn't know there was anything wrong."

Browning said the SPCA confiscated 15 dogs, nine cats, three rabbits, one hamster and 17 exotic birds.

While many of the animals appeared to be in good shape, the SPCA said it would wait until all of them had been examined by a veterinarian to make a final determination. The animal cruelty charge was filed because of the unsanitary conditions.

It appears to be a case of animal hoarding, Browning said.

Kensy said inspectors posted the house as uninhabitable.

"Nobody is to live in that house until we deem it [habitable]," he said.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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