CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- A local animal rescue organization is asking for the community's help.

It's been almost a year since Painted Post-based animal rescue group Pawz and Purrz set out to inform the public about local feral cat colonies.

"The granddaughter of a woman called us and said her grandmother was in a nursing home and she had been feeding several feral cats," says Tina Wright, Vice President of Pawz and Purrz Animal Rescue. "She said they just kept multiplying behind her house [and asked] is there any way we could help with that."

Both women, along with other volunteers, immediately got to work, trapping the cats so they could be spayed and neutered, before returning them to where many had been living for years. 
But earlier this week, Pawz and Purrz received word three of the cats had been found dead. 

"They were just laying in their habits and one of them had blood draining from his nose and mouth," says Wright. "There were no injuries that we could see, but we're guessing they ate something that had poison in it."

Wright and Pawz and Purrz Secretary Vicki Eichenlaub say they can't be sure if it was indeed poison that killed the cats; they're now looking ahead to how they can save the rest of the colony if they were poisoned and are in danger.

Like most feral cats, the colony--which at one point consisted of nearly thirty cats--would need to be relocated to another nearby spot.

"They need to be fed and provided shelter for, but they can't be friendly with people the way indoor and domesticated cats can," explains Eichenlaub.

"We can't place them into homes," says Wright. "We have to trap them in order to take them somewhere. We've asked people who have barns who maybe want some mousers if they would be willing to take in a few of them."

The nonprofit is also asking for donations, whether it be food or a monetary donation to help support to colony. If you're able to help in any way, you can contact Pawz and Purrz by phone at (888) 506-7727. You can visit them online or on Facebook here.