Halfmoon cat hoarder admits dumping 44 dead cats in Rensselaer County
JOHNSONVILLE -- A man charged with hoarding hundreds of cats in the last year will also be charged with dumping 44 dead cats, state police said.
They found 44 cat carcasses in Ziplock baggies and plastic bins on Thursday in Johnsonville, situated a few miles east of Schaghticoke in Rensselaer County.
Arthur Millard, 53, admitted to dumping the cats, state police Trooper Mark Cepiel said.
“Arthur [Millard] did say they died of natural causes,” Cepiel added.
But Millard wouldn’t say when the cats died, where they came from, or why he dumped them, Cepiel said.
Millard will be charged Tuesday. Police are researching differences in public health laws to determine the exact charge. He won’t be charged with additional counts of animal hoarding, Cepiel said.
But the executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society said the dumping leads him to suspect that Millard has more cats. After all, where did the dead cats come from?
Millard’s property in Halfmoon was raided on April 2, and police took away 135 cats. The 44 dead cats were dumped three days later.
Executive Director Brad Shear is certain the dead cats weren’t at Millard’s Halfmoon residence when it was raided.
“Police searched the place pretty thoroughly,” he said. “As far as we know, they didn’t know the police were coming, and they had no opportunity to hide anything once the police arrived. My guess is there may be another location where someone in the family may still have animals.”
This isn’t the first time Millard’s family has been charged in connection to animal hoarding.
Another property of his was raided last summer, with police seizing 50 cats. In that case, he fled to Vermont, where he was stopped with a car filled with 80 cats.
“We’re up to 300 cats since last July,” Shear said.
The dead cats were mostly kittens, 4 to 8 weeks old. There were two adult cats, which were so decomposed that Shear’s crew could not determine their gender. All of the animals were too decomposed to determine when or how they died.