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Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011County: Fulton
Alleged: Veronica Thompson
97 dogs are being relocated from a closed animal rescue group in western Fulton County.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the non-profit group Help A Hound Inc was housing the dogs in an area that was made for only 25.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Department said it had received a number of complaints.
Groups from all over New York and New Jersey are helping out in the rescue today.
Investigators said some of the dogs appeared underweight and had various skin and medical conditions.
"A strong strong smell of urine and feces in there" says Brad Shear who serves as Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson River Humane Society. "It was hard to breathe if you stay in there a long time. Not well lit and one of the rooms barely has any lights as well. Dogs everywhere you looked."
The dogs are being evaluated and will be placed with rescue groups and eventually up for adoption if all goes well. 20 of the dogs were taken by the Mohawk Hudson River Humane Society located in Menands.
"One of them is a nursing mother with six puppies" says Shear. "One of the things about this case is you had a 501 C3 charity non profit group. Other groups were bringing their dogs to the home thinking these dogs were going to get homes in New York State. Actually what was happening is that they were sitting in this house and getting worse worse and worse."
Kim Thompson who helped run the Help a Hound Pet Rescue says they just took on too much.
"It's just the two of us and we got overwhelmed. We are not bad people. We're animal lovers, we love our animals, unfortunately there were only two of us and we got overwhelmed" says Thompson.
CBS 6 uncovers this isn't the first time that the Help a Hound Pet Rescue got into trouble.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources investigated Help A Hound when they were located there just last year. Massachusetts inspected their premises and issued a cease and desist order including an order to surrender seven dogs last March, according to spokeswoman Catherine Williams.
There is still $4,500 in outstanding DAR fines.
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey says charges are pending and will depend on the District Attorney.
"Typically folks like this are charged with failure to provide proper shelter for animals which is a misdemeanor" says Lorey.
Kim Thompson says they are closing their pet rescue permanently.
- cbs6albany.com - Mar 10, 2011 littlefallstimes.com - Mar 10, 2011 wsj.com - Mar 10, 2011 wnyt.com - Mar 10, 2011 wten.com - Mar 10, 2011
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