Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19133
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Thursday, Jan 19, 2012

County: Middlesex

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Herbert Smith

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Police arrested a local man this morning on numerous charges of animal cruelty after he allegedly kept 13 dogs in a house that police described as "deplorable" and the building department determined was unfit for anyone to live in.

Herbert Smith was charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty and as of Thursday afternoon was being processed at the town's police department. The dogs appeared to be uninjured, according to Lt. Kevin Roche.

A town Animal Control officer today made a previously scheduled visit to 38 Ford Drive, where Smith was living, to help with the adoption of two 3-month-old puppies in his possession. The officer found a litter of nine additional two-day-old puppies who were living in the home. Roche said the home was covered in urine and fecal matter and the conditions were terrible for the dogs and humans, as well.

Roche said that Smith signed the dogs over to the town and after a number of tests they will be available for adoption. The dogs' mother and father were also living in the house. The mother is a pitbull mix and the father's exact breed is unknown.

The house has been foreclosed on and its owner is deceased, Roche said. Police believe that Smith was a previous tenant in the home, although they do not know how long he has been living there with the dogs.

"He was trying to get the two 3-month old dogs adopted and he was trying to do the right thing," Roche said. "I think things got ahead of him and he didn't know how to handle it."

Assistant Animal Control Officer Jennifer Hart was the one who responded to the home to find the dogs living in squalor. She said this type of situation is why her office encourages the neutering and spaying of dogs.

The dogs were being kept at the Animal Control Office this afternoon. The mother was visibly upset and was very protective of her puppies, although Roche said she normally has a friendly demeanor.

"Right now they're scared," Hart said of the dogs. "They've been pulled from the only house they know."

All dogs are currently being cared for at the Old Saybrook Animal Shelter. These dogs and others at the shelter will be available for adoption once they are cleared. For more information you should call 860-395-3142 or email animalcontrol@oldsaybrookpolice.com. Email communication is preferred.


Case Updates

An Old Saybrook man charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty pleaded innocent to the charges Friday in Middletown Superior Court.

Herbert Smith, 32, of 38 Ford Dr., was charged Jan. 19 after police discovered 13 dogs in a home with no heat or hot water, and urine and feces throughout the home. Smith's case was continued until March 1, when it will be placed on the pretrial docket. Smith was appointed a special public defender. Smith's attorney entered not guilty pleas on Smith's behalf.

According to reports, Smith had been renting a room at the home, and when the owner died, the house was foreclosed on. Police said bank officials had no idea Smith was still living in the house. Police responded to the home for a welfare check on "several canines."

Smith allegedly gave officers consent to enter, and informed them that he was the owner of 13 dogs, two adult and 11 puppies. According to police documents, Smith also told officers that one puppy had died overnight, but did not give a reason for its death, saying only that it was buried in the yard. Smith signed over the care of the dogs to the animal control officer, and the dogs were removed for care and evaluation.

Smith has two other cases pending with charges of third-degree larceny and second-degree breach of peace. In the larceny case, police said Smith was terminated from his position at Essex Limo as a result of his lose of license endorsement, and there were charges to the gas credit card he had been given as part of the job.

According to police, the card was supposed to be turned in upon Smith's termination, but the company alleges that he continued to use it, charging a sum of approximately $1,780.31 over a course of less than five months. In a statement to police, Smith said he did continue to use the card after his termination, as he felt Essex Limo owned him money.

Smith's other cases were also continued for the same date.
Source: middletownpress.com - Jan 29, 2012
Update posted on Jan 29, 2012 - 4:58PM 

References

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