Fifty-three Lhasa Apso dogs were seized from a home on Chlorinator Road in Milford, after a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office. The number was initially 52, but shelter officials called NEWSChannel 2 on Wednesday and said it is now 53.
Sheriff Richard Devlin tells us it may not be the biggest case of animal abuse in Otsego County, but it does rank as one of the top.
"We did have a case within the last year where we seized over 102 animals, but they were various animals. Farm animals, domestic animals and what not, but dog seizure, I think this is probably the largest we’ve had."
The Susquehanna Animal Shelter is now tasked with taking on the animals, and their health problems. Stacie Haynes is the executive director of the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. She says many of the dogs require medical attention and veterinarians already have their hands full.
"They can’t keep up," Haynes said. "We have so many animals here that need to be spay and neutered, so we actually have a waiting list of over 80 animals that need to be spay and neutered here, so we have a great foster system. We have amazing volunteers who foster for us and so they’re fostering them until we can get them spay and neutered."
The Sheriff’s Office is waiting on a complete health report before deciding whether or not to charge the owners with animal abuse. The sheriff tells us the circumstances surrounding the case also require some additional considerations.
"I think the owners realize that they were over their heads and the best interest of the animals, they really cared for them, was to surrender them to the shelter so they can get proper treatment and they’ll be put up for adoption and get a good home," Devlin said.
Stacie Haynes tells us that getting them to the point where they can have a good home is a costly endeavor.
"Our biggest challenge right now is going to be providing proper care to the animals, so we’ll have our staff here extra hours and we’ll also be trying to get them spay and neutered as fast as possible so we can get them adopted."
The Susquehanna Animal Shelter is seeking financial help for spay and neutering of these animals. None of the animals can be adopted out until they are spay and neutered. Employees with the shelter say they're expected to be available for adoption at the end of this week or beginning of next week, and some of the animals will be sent to other shelters.
If you would like to make a donation, you can do it online at www.thesas.org.