An upstate SPCA has apparently worked out a unique settlement in which an animal-loving attorney who showed up on the doorstep of the county jail with 25 cats becomes a ticket-writing special deputy sheriff, and the SPCA collects half the ticket revenue.

Albany Attorney Mathew B. Tully, the chief peace officer with the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, latched on to an obscure provision in the state Agriculture and Markets Law to forge a deal that he says will benefit animals while relieving Schenectady County taxpayers of the burden and cost of housing seized dogs, cats and other creatures.