Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4967
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005

County: Middlesex

Disposition: Not Charged

Abuser names unreleased

Three Saint Bernard puppies seized from a Natick home on July 1 will likely be put up for adoption, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officials said yesterday.

The puppies were three of six dogs seized from an Irving Road home last Friday after they were found kept in small cages with little or no food, water or exercise.

Although he is not sure when the puppies will be available for adoption, MSPCA Director of Law Enforcement Peter Gollub yesterday said the agency is already getting calls about the dogs.

The fate of the other Saint Bernards seized last week - two adult males and an adult female -- remains unclear.

"Things are still being ironed out," Gollub said of the adult dogs. "There are still some concerns that we're addressing, and we're currently working out with the owners of the dogs."

Central among them, he said, is the dogs' living environment.

When they removed the dogs, animal control officials found two of the adult dogs and the puppies housed in a small garage, in cramped cages, living in their own urine and feces.

The stench in the garage was so strong it could be smelled from the street more than 30 feet away.

"We are working toward getting the conditions in which the dogs lived improved," he said. "There are things people do have to provide for animals, like a sanitary environment and proper food and water.

"We're working with (the owners) to educate them as to what they need to do. At this point, things appear to be proceeding."

If the owners make the required changes, Gollub said, it is even possible the adult dogs could be returned to them.

"We would like to see what they do and how they do it, and how well they do it...before we make any commitment," he said. "(But) that is a possibility."

After being seized from the home, the dogs were taken to MSPCA facilities in Boston, where they were examined, cleaned up and given any needed treatment.

Gollub said yesterday he was not aware of any serious medical problems that required treatment.

The dogs were first spotted on June 29 by firefighters who were called to the Irving Road home when a fire alarm went off. Firefighters notified local Animal Control Officer Keith Tosi, who eventually called in the MSPCA.

Although the dogs' owners do not face any charges in connection with the incident, Gollub said the MSPCA can still decide to file charges at a later date.

In the short term, he said, the agency is more interested in making sure the dogs are healthy. "Our interest is in the welfare of the animals," he said.


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