Centenarian hoarded up to 100 cats in Newburgh home

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NEWBURGH – A 100-year-old man and his 68-year-old son were found to be housing between 50 and 100 cats in their 14 Van Cleft Street residence in the City of Newburgh when police were asked to conduct a welfare check on the residents on Monday, February 23.
City code only allows up to five cats, over six months old, in any one dwelling unit. But, city officials learned that last June the 68-year-old man was feeding feral cats when they were approached by two individuals who requested that they house cats for them. They agreed and the individuals kept bringing cats over. The residents did not want to have the cats in their home anymore.
On Tuesday, the city animal control officer and Hudson Valley SPCA went to 14 Van Clerk Street to begin removing the cats to a shelter that does not euthanize. While there, the two individuals arrived and began to obstruct the animal control officer, grabbed her and punched her in the face. She was not injured.
City police responded arrested Silvia St. John, 54, of Newburgh, and Phillips Prinzivalli, 66, for misdemeanor attempted assault and obstructing governmental administration.
The couple identified themselves as husband and wife.
Police said it is believed the two capture feral cats, pays for them to be spayed or neutered and then either releases them or adopts them out. City detectives are investigating the circumstances of how they fund the process and the legality of the adoptions.
With the assistance of the SPCA and Town of Montgomery Animal Control, the majority of the cats were removed and transported to a shelter. The removal of the remaining cats is pending.