Solvay: Too many cats

Who ever said there were no cats in Solvay?

Neighbors of two private residences within the village have issued complaints with the village board, code enforcement department, and police regarding what they believe are excessive, unruly cats being kept in the homes.

Residents say the cat problems stemming from 304 Charles Ave. and a home on Montrose Avenue are lowering their property values, quality of life and, in some cases, creating a "disgusting" environment.

Village attorney Jean Marie Westlake said many of the issues being raised by residents should be addressed to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

"Solvay does not have a code ordinance limiting the number of cats in a private residence," Westlake said.

If animals are found in an abandoned building, they can be removed by the SPCA. Otherwise, the animal has to be labeled a nuisance for the codes enforcement officers to be able to take action.

And a nuisance cat is defined as one that frequently digs in flowerbeds or deposits waste on property not belonging to the owner of the cat.

That line is key to the complaints of neighbors, said Westlake.

The 319 Charles Ave. address, formerly occupied by Santiago Acosta, is the target of numerous complaints for the number of cats living there and the growing pile of cat feces in the backyard.

Acosta recently passed away and the home was abandoned, allowing the SPCA jurisdiction to remove the cats from the building, which was then posted unsafe for human habitation by Solvay code enforcement officer Donna Taggert due to the condition of the home's second level.

Lee Maroney, 306 Charles Ave., said the problem has been ongoing and the complaints of her and her neighbors fell on deaf ears.

"After many, many calls to the SPCA from me, the neighbor across the street...and police Chief Coz, they came and got some cats," said Maroney. "But until Chief Cox called them our phone calls were being ignored."

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