Police: 26 cats found inside Islip home; father, son arrested
Police say more than two dozen cats were found in hoarding conditions at a home in Islip.
Police responded to 104 Lake St. following reports of animal cruelty.
Officials say the cats inside the residence were overcrowded, with sparse food, no water and covered in feces.
Investigators seized five cages and two containers containing 26 cats. The cats were brought to the Islip Animal Shelter for evaluation.
Police say they were first alerted to the home on Nov. 29 when EMS crews responded to the home for a 911 call for someone having difficulty breathing.
They say they tried to get into the home but couldn't because of the hoarding situation.
"There was garbage all the way up to the ceiling on the first floor and then on the stairwell," says Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison. "There was so much garbage she couldn't even walk up there due to the amount of stuff they wouldn't throw away or get rid of."
Police say that's when fire marshals and building inspectors were notified and cited the homeowner, 72-year-old Gary Verga, for several code violations.
They say the homeowner hired a contractor to clean up the home and discovered the cats in cages on the second floor on Dec. 29 and notified the town.
Police say they were notified on Jan. 9 and removed the cats on Jan. 11.
Gary Verga, 72, and Daniel Verga, 39, were arrested. They are father and son.
Both men were each charged with 10 counts of failing to provide proper sustenance to an animal and 10 counts of failing to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal.
Both men were issued desk appearance tickets and are scheduled for arraignment on Thursday.
The cats are being given vaccines, will be spayed and neutered, and then will be ready to be adopted.