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Felines Rescued at R’wood Home

Say Hoarder Lived In Squalor

Animal advocates removed 40 felines from a dilapidated Ridgewood home during an animal rescue operation Tuesday, July 22, it was reported.

Reportedly, the operation took place at the Palmetto Street home of Giuseppe Genna, 68, who previously got in trouble for hoarding cats inside his residence.

Jenny Coffey of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals told the Times Newsweekly that, after many appeals from the ASPCA and other organizations, Genna agreed to have animal experts remove the felines from his home.

Participating in Tuesday’s rescue operation were the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Animal Haven, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, the Humane Society and the New York City Feral Cat Initiative.

Coffey stated rescuers discovered the cats and Genna were living in squalid conditions, with floors and other areas of the home soaked in cat urine.

“There were no visible signs of cruelty, but there were signs of neglect,” Coffey said. Some of the cats had fleas and others had either dental problems or respiratory infections.

“We worked in teams to secure the cats in cages and traps,” Coffey added. “We had an on-site veterinarian who assessed each animal for basic care.”

The voluntary operation was critical to ensuring the cats were not seized by law enforcement agents and placed in caged shelters, she noted. As such, the animal experts were able to provide the felines immediate care.

The veterinarian also administered vaccines to cats and spayed or neutered those felines that had not previously been altered, she noted.

Fortunately, Coffey stated, “so many of them are placeable” and the Mayor’s Alliance was working yesterday, July 23, to find new homes or sanctuaries for the displaced felines.

According to published reports, no charges were filed against Genna, but the Queens District Attorney’s office is conducting an investigation. Genna previously got in trouble back in 2006 after ASPCA Enforcement officers found dead felines in his freezer.

“Animal hoarding, if it’s not addressed, has a 100 percent recidivism rate,” said Coffey, a social worker who said she’s studied such cases over the past 10 years. “The important issue is not only getting the animals out, but also making sure the situation does not recur.”

To that end, the city’s Adult Protective Services is monitoring Genna to prevent him from hoarding felines in the future, she noted.

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