Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Push for reform following allegations of neglect in Montgomery County

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Albany/HV: Push for reform following allegations of neglect in Montgomery County
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Over the last few days our newsroom received numerous calls, emails and Facebook messages from people from our area all the way to California, concerned with the health and well being of some dogs kept outside at a home in Sprakers. We sent Time Warner Cable News Reporter Karen Tararache to the breeder's house to get the full story.

SPRAKERS, N. Y. -- This story has sparked outrage from people across the U. S. Now an elected official and a veterinarian, two animal advocates are adding their voices to the hundreds who are saying now is the time to advance animal rights.

Dr. Holly Cheever of The Humane Veterinary Medical Society explained, "The only breed that would do this well outside, frankly is a malamute. A big dog with a heavy double coat."

But what about Border Collie's?

"A collie would do better, a Chihuahua frankly could very easily freeze to death," Cheever said.

At the center of serious allegations of animal neglect is this breeding facility. Claims of poor conditions in cold weather were sent in by the dozens, going viral, receiving attention from all parts of the country.

During our visit, about 30 dogs play in the snow, sleep in barrels that are filled with hay, eat from automatic food dispensers and drink water from heated bowls.

The owner who didn't want to speak to us on camera tells us in the kennel's fifteen years of business- their record is clean.

Assemblyman, Jim Tedisco said, "Maybe they lived up to the letter of the law, but certainly not morally right or ethically right."

New York State Police also receiving numerous complaints has monitored the facility and issued a statement saying, "The owner of this kennel has provided shelter, food and heated water as required."

The Montgomery County Dog Warden, himself, receiving hundreds of calls visited the site an hour before our arrival.

He told us, "The dogs are well taken care of, well fed, shots are up to date. They are licensed. The shelter is primitive but very effective."

Cheever added, "On one hand you have Police saying everything is fine but people who really know what’s going on and know what dogs need say that’s not the case."

Assemblyman Tedisco, who is of the same mind says a bill awaiting Governor Cuomo's signature would allow local officials to more closely regulate animal rights in their municipalities.

"Let them control what the compassionate care and behavior of animals should be," Tedisco said.

New York State Police and the Montgomery County Dog Warden will continue to monitor the conditions as the complaints come in. Just to reiterate, officials tell us this facility is operating under the letter of the law.

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