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Monday, Apr 30, 2012County: Orange
Case Images: 6 files available
Alleged: Sylvia Panetta
Case Updates: 4 update(s) available
An anonymous tip led police to the home of Sylvia Panetta, where 76 Rottweilers were found living in deplorable conditions.
Their surroundings? Dilapidated kennel runs. Dirty white huts for shelter. Nails sticking out of the ground and out of boards. Piles of garbage. And only stale bread for the dogs to eat.
According to NBC 4 New York, the dogs were in such poor condition that one sadly had to have a leg amputated. Another lost an eye. These two, the most severely injured, are being cared for by Pets Alive.
Panetta, 64, was charged with two counts of animal cruelty and was arraigned and released.
She was allegedly breeding dogs for sale but didn't have a kennel license. Rescuers had to remove 15-20 dogs yesterday who were in immediate danger.
Fox 23 News reports that Karma K-9 Rescue and Mountain Rottie Rescue were able to take some of the dogs. Since no shelter was prepared to take in such a large number of dogs, some are still at Panetta's house.
Pets Alive has offered to take all the dogs once the town has ownership of them. If you would like to donate to Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary to help with the cost of their care, click here.
Authorities had been watching Panetta since March when the tip was first called in. They gave her a chance to fix her situation but she did not, which is when they moved in to remove the dogs. They are all currently in need of foster homes.
For more information or to make a donation, visit Karma K-9 Rescue at www.karmak9.org. Please be sure to indicate that your donation is for the Rottweilers from Orange County. If you are interested in fostering, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain Rottie Rescue has started a chip-in to help with care and medical costs for the dogs they took in. All donations are greatly appreciated by both rescues.
|"They're hurting my dogs and the judge has now taken away my ability to photograph these people as they are hurting my dogs," said Sylvia Panetta.|
It's her word against theirs.
"We're just trying to feed these dogs, water these dogs and remove the ones we need to remove to get them where they need to be," said Krissie Downey, Mountain Rottie Rescue President.
Panetta has been charged with 150 counts of animal cruelty and pleaded not guilty in court, refusing to voluntarily surrender ownership of her dogs and accusing rescue workers of acting inappropriately in caring for them.
Panetta was charged with animal cruelty in April after police raided her Town of Wallkill home where they say they found 76 dogs living in deplorable conditions. Rescue workers have since removed and placed all but 13 of the dogs in shelters, but not without a struggle they say.
Downey said, "She follows us around with video and it's very difficult for us to take care of the dogs when somebody is right there interfering with what we are trying to do."
The volunteers say Panetta has been harassing them, yelling our slurs and chaining her gate in attempts to restrict access to her property. Panetta denies any wrong doing, saying she has the right to block her driveway and take pictures of volunteers as proof of what she says is mistreatment.
The judge granted an order of protection or a restraining order, requiring Panetta to stay at least 50 feet away from rescue workers on her property.
"The judge was compelled to agree with our side of things and we're very happy about that," Town of Wallkill Supervisor Dan Depew said.
The court order also allows rescue workers to remove the chain from the gate as they come and go from the property. A 10 day seizure extension was also granted, giving volunteers more time to find shelters for the remaining dogs.
Panetta will be back in court next month.
|Source: hudsonvalley.ynn.com - May 29, 2012|
Update posted on May 29, 2012 - 9:40PM
|The 13 Rottweilers remaining on the property of a Derby Road woman charged with animal cruelty will likely be removed soon, and she has been hit with 150 additional cruelty and other animal-related charges.|
In the meantime, before the remaining dogs are removed, Sylvia Panetta has been ordered to stay at least 50 feet away from the volunteers who are taking care of them.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Kass said in town court today that Panetta has been harassing the volunteers. Panetta responded that she has been photographing them to keep track of what they are doing on her property, accusing them of hurting the dogs, and that the 50-foot restriction was too much.
"I need to be able to take pictures of what these people are doing to my dogs," Panetta told town Justice Patrick Owen.
Krissie Downey, head of Mountain Rottie Rescue, said some of the dogs are frightened and struggle when volunteers try to put leashes on them and remove them from the property, and that she suspects this is what Panetta was referring to. She also accused Panetta of harassing and cursing at the volunteers. Mountain Rottie Rescue has been spearheading the efforts to take care of the dogs on the property and place the ones that are removed.
As she left court, Panetta repeated to reporters that the volunteers are hurting the dogs, and that the media has been reporting the wrong information about what happened, although she didn't expand on either point when asked.
"Everything in this case has been illegal so far," she said.
Panetta's next scheduled court appearance is June 15, when there will be a hearing on whether she should put up a bond to cover the costs of taking care of the dogs, said town police Chief Robert Hertman. This has cost $36,000 so far, Kass said.
Most of the more than 70 dogs that were on her property when police raided it on April 30 have already been removed, and Panetta was charged with two animal-cruelty counts that day. The initial charges related to two dogs that had injuries; however, most of the dogs that have been removed have been malnourished and have had various health problems, rescue workers have said.
None of the dogs can be spayed, neutered, or adopted out yet, pending the outcome of the case. Panetta said in court that she would not voluntarily give up custody of the dogs.
Panetta was breeding Rottweilers and not taking proper care of them, authorities have said.
Charges for building code violations are also likely but haven't yet been filed, said Hertman.
|Source: Times-Herald Record - May 29, 2012|
Update posted on May 29, 2012 - 9:27PM
|Eighteen more Rottweilers have been removed from the home of a woman charged with animal cruelty, and rescuers are hoping more shelters and rescue groups will step up to take the 31 dogs remaining on the property.|
The rescuers also need more food donations and money to help cover the dogs' veterinary bills, said Jamie Gaebel of Mountain Rottie Rescue, the group that has been spearheading the effort to care for the dogs.
There were more than 70 dogs on the Derby Road property when the owner, Sylvia Panetta, was arrested April 30 and charged with animal cruelty. Most of the dogs were malnourished and sick, authorities said.
Some dogs were removed earlier; 18 more were taken Thursday after a court order allowed for the removal of the remaining dogs. The 31 dogs left can be taken, but need to go to rescue groups and shelters, Gaebel said.
"They need people who are experienced with dogs and rescue dogs," she said.
Volunteers have been taking care of the dogs since April 30. Gaebel said the dogs still on the property have been improving.
"The dogs look a lot better," she said. "They seem to be very happy."
The volunteers also said Panetta has been harassing them when they come to the property. They say she has taken photos of them, followed them and blocked the driveway so they'd have to carry food and bales of hay through the mud to get to the pens. Panetta has made at least two police reports since April 30 - one on that date alleging a volunteer hit her with a woodchip bag and one May 9 saying town Supervisor Dan Depew and a police officer briefly came onto her property without permission.
In the first instance, witnesses said Panetta was blocking and photographing the volunteer, who accidentally bumped her with the bag. In the second, the responding officer told Panetta he had no knowledge of the case and would pass on the information.
Police and the Orange County District Attorney's office are reviewing veterinary records and other evidence and will decide whether to file more charges before Panetta's May 29 court appearance, police Chief Robert Hertman said. He said more charges related to animal cruelty or zoning violations are possible.
One dog, an adult that was at the Middletown Humane Society, had to be euthanized due to its medical condition, Depew said. None of the dogs can be adopted, spayed or neutered pending further court action. The puppies from the pregnant dogs that are removed also cannot be adopted yet.
Panetta's attorney could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
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|Source: Record Online|
Update posted on May 19, 2012 - 8:34PM
|More than a week after their owner was charged with animal cruelty, the majority of the more than 70 Rottweilers that were on a Derby Road property are still there, awaiting their owner's day in court.|
The dogs are getting decent food and clean water every day now, unlike before. But they're still in the same pens, and there will be more of them soon - males and females are caged together and are still breeding, and some of the females there are pregnant.
The pens have been cleaned, with hay put in for the dogs to lie down on and tarps for additional shelter, and volunteers are visiting once a day to feed them. Aside from the tarps, their only shelters are still the same igloo-style huts, which are too small for a large Rottweiler, said Eric Bellows, head of Pack Ethic Rescue.
Many of them have health problems - all of the dogs that have been removed so far have had Lyme disease parasites, said Mountain Rottie Rescue President Krissie Downey, and many have had eye and ear infections. The 50 or so dogs that are still there got basic veterinary evaluations when the property was raided last week, but no in-depth care, she said.
The original warrant authorized removing sick or injured dogs, puppies and pregnant females. The court would need to order the removal of any more dogs. The next court date is May 29.
"Waiting till May 29 is just not acceptable," said Tina Hudson, president of the Saratoga County-based Rottie Empire Rescue. "Those animals can't live like this anymore."
Town Supervisor Dan Depew said he hopes the dogs are removed soon, but that the town needs to follow the legal process. Several groups have offered to take the remaining dogs.
"We're on the right path, and a path that'll get those dogs in a better home, but we can't go off the path," Depew said.
Their owner, Sylvia Panetta, is being charged with two animal-cruelty counts for now; authorities have said more charges may be pending, but none had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, said town court officials.
Several pregnant females, a dozen puppies, and a handful of injured dogs were removed last week by different shelters and rescue groups.
The puppies, and one female, are at the Middletown Humane Society. Before, the pups had been in crates in a dark, filthy room in Panetta's house, said shelter manager April Wood.
Like the other dogs, they were malnourished, undersocialized and have a variety of health issues. She said the puppies have been getting better and gaining weight; however, they have food aggression issues, likely due to their previous diet of mostly bread. None of the dogs can be fixed or adopted out yet, pending the outcome of the case.
|Source: Record Online|
Update posted on May 10, 2012 - 11:59PM
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