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Utica woman charged with two cases of animal cruelty

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, NY. (WKTV) - Two dogs were taken from their south Utica owner, suffering from extensive mange, a skin infection and intestinal parasites.

Utica Police took the dogs yesterday, after the city's animal control officer says the owner failed to get the dogs the medical care they needed within a 72-hour warning period.

The two black labs are brothers. The animal control officer says their condition isn't just difficult to look at; it's painful.

"It's very discomforting. Itchy, scabs, swollen skin, so forth and so on. it's mites but it's very bad and at this point it's escalated to the infection," says Animal Control Officer Christopher Collver.

The owner, Jeanette Saponaro, of Baker Avenue, says she's never been cruel to an animal and is unfamiliar with mange.

The Stevens Swan Humane Society is caring for the dogs, whom they named Bo and Duke.  Staff there say it will be at least two months before the dogs are ready for adoption; closer to six months before they're fully in good health again.

Saponaro faces two misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and is free until her next court appearance, which has not yet been scheduled.

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