At least 25 cats removed from West York home


A West York woman has surrendered 25 cats over the past several days to the York County SPCA and will likely face a citation for cruelty to animals, according to SPCA Executive Director Melissa Smith.

Smith declined to comment on some of the specifics of the case because the investigation is ongoing, but she said there were concerns about the "general living conditions" of the felines.

She said some of the cats had medical issues and some had parasites.

"They're currently being held and treated at the shelter," Smith said of the cats.

The SPCA has received previous complaints about the residence, she said. The organization continues to work with West York Police and the borough code-enforcement personnel regarding the case.

Smith said she thinks it's likely Lori Uhrich will turn over more cats to the SPCA in coming days.

"The homeowner is being very cooperative," Smith said.

Cancer: Uhrich told The York Dispatch that she'd had a hard time caring adequately for all of the cats since her husband had been diagnosed with cancer, and she had to devote much of her energy to caring for him and tending to his needs.

"He had to be my first priority," she said.

She said the SPCA told her she'd be able to keep as many animals as she wanted, so long as she was able to take care of them. Smith said several animals would remain at the house, including some dogs.

Uhrich said she used to be part of the West York Borough Animal Rescue krew (BARk) but also had to give that up.

West York Borough Council vice president Shelley Metzler, who's the borough's animal control officer and the head of BARk, said the organization hadn't been involved with this incident because of Uhrich's connection to BARk, and that the incident had nothing to do with the organization.

Smith said she understands how situations such as Uhrich's can come about.

"It's just one of those situations where people start out with the best of intentions and then become overwhelmed and aren't sure how to get out," Smith said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at