Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19894
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Attorneys/Judges
Judge(s): Raymond E. Schilling


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Saturday, Feb 2, 2013

County: Niagara

Disposition: Dismissed (Conditional)

Person of Interest: Ellouise Magrum

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

A Niagara County Sheriffs deputy and New York state trooper investigating a juvenile report Saturday found several dozen Pomeranian dogs living with three people in filthy conditions inside a home at 6603 South Royal Parkway.

According to sheriff's reports, patrol was "unable to ignore the overwhelming odor of animal urine and feces" as they spoke with family members.

Ellouise Magrum, the homeowner, told patrol that there were "a few" dogs in the home. She added that she and a second female have their own bedroom and a male sleeps on the living room couch because a bedroom had been turned into a puppy nursery.

Town of Lockport Dog Warden Barry Kobrin was contacted, and Kobrin told officers that he had been trying to contact Magrum for the past month.

Officers looked inside the convertd bedroom and were overcome by a foul odor.

Upon further investigation, 60 Pomeranians were counted, including 35 of various ages in small pens and carriers inside the "nursery." The other 25 dogs were found in two downstairs rooms, contained in small pens.

Kobrin requested the SPCA to respond. However, SPCA officials, after they arrived, said they do not have the capabilities to transport and house 60 dogs.

Kobrin told patrol that he will care for the dogs until Monday morning when the SPCA will return and remove all 60 dogs.

A Town of Lockport Building Inspector arrived and condemned the house until it is professionally cleaned and inspected by him.

Magrum, 50, was charged with two zoning ordinances, unlicensed dogs, excessive noise and harboring illegal dogs. She was arraigned before Town Justice Raymond E. Schilling, who released her until a Feb. 5 return court date.

Kobrin said that with the assistance of the SPCA he will most likely have additional charges for Magrum.

Due to the living conditions, patrol made a report with Child Protective Services. According to the report, a CPS representative said that they would send an agent out Monday to interview the family.

The house was secured by the building inspector with padlocks.

The family planned to stay at a family member's house in the Woodland Trailer Park until further notice.


Case Updates

Charges against a woman who had 64 Pomeranian dogs seized from her home last month will be dismissed, following her acceptance of a plea deal Thursday in Lockport Town Court.

Ellouise Magrum, 50, 6603 Royal Parkway South, admitted she violated a town ordinance that did not permit her to housing the 64 dogs in a residential zone. Magrum will pay a $250 fine.

Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child were adjourned Thursday in contemplation of dismissal, while the one count of cruelty to animals charge was thrown out.

"They should've never been brought in the first place," said George V.C. Muscato, Magrum's attorney.

In court, Muscato said the dogs were never mistreated by Magrum. In fact, when the SPCA of Niagara came to confiscate the dogs, the SPCA said all of the animals were in good health, Muscato said. All of the dogs were adopted shortly after being taken from Magrum's home in February.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police found the Pomeranian dogs living with three people in filthy conditions inside Magrum's home. According to the Feb. 2 sheriff's report, deputies were "unable to ignore the overwhelming odor of animal urine and feces" while speaking to family members.

But no one said those smells existed for a long period of time, Muscato said.

Other than the ordinance violation, Magrum did nothing wrong, her attorney said. The family not only lost the dogs but have been under a lot of stress, Muscato added.

"They have paid a tremendous price," he said.

When leaving court Thursday, Magrum declined comment.
Source: Niagara Gazette - March 29, 2013
Update posted on Mar 31, 2013 - 11:26PM 
The Niagara County SPCA has started the process of finding homes for the more than 60 small dogs brought into the shelter this week.

More than 60 dogs and puppies were seized from a Lockport home following an investigation by the Niagara County Sheriffs Department and State Police.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office says the homeowner, 50-year-old Ellouise Magrum, is facing misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child and animal cruelty. She pleaded not guilty in Lockport Town Court Tuesday night.

Dozens of people are on the waiting list to adopt the dogs. Homes of potential dog owners will have to be screened before the adoptions can be finalized. Officials expect most of the pups to be in their new homes by the end of the week.

The SPCA is asking for monetary donations to help pay for the procedures, including getting the pets spayed and neutered. They're also looking for donations of puppy chow, puppy pads and newspapers to help care for the dogs.

If you can't make it out to the Niagara County SPCA, you can drop off donations at Channel 2 Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm until February 8th. We are located at: 259 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the dogs should call the shelter at 716-731-4368 and ask to be placed on their waiting list.
Source: WGRZ - Feb 7, 2013
Update posted on Mar 31, 2013 - 11:25PM 
The SPCA of Niagara has taken ownership of 64 Pomeranians that were seized Saturday from a woman who is due to appear in court tonight to answer charges that she was running a puppy mill out of her Lockport home.

SPCA Director Amy Lewis said most of the dogs are in relatively good condition and all should be well enough to be adopted. In fact, there might be more demand than supply; she said that in a three-hour period Monday,the shelter received 90 calls from people asking to be put on a waiting list to adopt one of the dogs. The animals range in age from two weeks to 9 years old.

The owner of the animals, Ellouise M. Magrum, 50, agreed to turn over the dogs in order to work out a solution that might get her a more lenient sentence and would be in the best interest of the dogs, Lewis said.

Magrum previously bred shelties and Pekingnese dogs for about 16 years, according to Lewis. She was not charged with animal cruelty in this case but does face a number of town code violations related to the business she was operating in her South Royal Parkway home.

"Though this was out of control, in a few weeks it could have been much, much worse for these dogs," Lewis said. "The smell of urine and feces was overpowering."

The dogs were found in the house and garage when Niagara County sheriff's deputies were called to the residence on an unrelated juvenile issue at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Town of Lockport Building Inspector Brian Belson said Monday that the house will need to be scrubbed clean by a professional cleaning company before anyone can move back in.

Belson said the home has been a problem for years, but police were unable to enter the house without grounds for a search warrant.

"As soon as I got the call that night I knew exactly what house they were talking about," Belson said. "She had shelties before and got rid of them. She's kind of complied and just squeaked under, but this got out of control."

According to a website, Magrum was running RCE Royal Poms, selling dogs for between $200 to $400 out of her home.

Belson, who called the site a "puppy mill," said more than half of the house was taken up by dogs.

No kennels and no more than three dogs are permitted in a residential zone, and Magrum was cited for operating a kennel, operating a nonpermitted business, unsafe building and unsanitary conditions. She was additionally charged with the violations of harboring dogs, unlicensed dogs, failure to license dogs and excessive barking.

She is scheduled to appear in Lockport Town Court tonight.

Lewis praised the people who helped care for the dogs after they were removed from the home.

"It was an incredible turnout. We had four vet techs, a veterinarian and a whole slew of volunteers who are working on bathing the dogs," Lewis said. "It's really cute. We have some fluffy little baby Pomeranians who are being blow-dried."

She said medical and behavioral evaluations are being done on the animals, but she expects all of them to be adoptable. Calls to adopt dogs and puppies and be put on a waiting list are being accepted at 731-4368.

The shelter also is looking for donations of puppy chow, puppy pads, newspapers and monetary donations at the Niagara County SPCA, 2100 Lockport Road, Wheatfield.
Source: Buffalo News - Feb 4, 2013
Update posted on Mar 31, 2013 - 11:24PM 

References

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