NEW YORK -- A Gardiner woman faces animal cruelty charges after five dogs were removed from her home due to unsafe conditions, according to the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The dogs were removed from the home at 129 Dusinberre Road on Friday and taken to the SPCA shelter in the town of Ulster for medical evaluation after state police and SPCA officials executed a search warrant at the residence, the agency said.
It is believed the dogs’ owner, Jill Hamilton, 63, is a registered American Kennel Club breeder of Shetland Sheepdogs under the moniker, “Adalia Kennels,” the SPCA said.
Authorities said Hamilton is facing criminal charges of at least one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty per animal. She is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Gardiner Town Court.
Additional information about the dogs and their condition was not immediately available.
“The conditions these dogs were forced to live in is appalling, conditions even more offensive given the apparent certification of this location as a breeding operation,” Ulster County SPCA Executive Director Adam Saunders said in a press release.
The interior of the residence and much of the property immediately around the home was filled with debris, rotten garbage and both human and canine waste, the agency said. Indications in the home suggest Hamilton continued to live within the building despite the unhealthy environment; investigators discovered a bed, clothing and food amid the waste and feces.
“Ulster County Executive Mike Hein pushed for inspections of registered breeders in 2015, an effort blocked by the American Kennel Club and local residents,” Saunders said. “It’s incredibly sad to think that their efforts allowed these dogs to suffer in this environment for a year longer than necessary had the proposed animal protection legislation passed. Perhaps this is the wake-up call needed to revisit this issue.”
According to the release, Ulster County SPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers sought a search warrant for Hamilton’s home after Saunders and a department trainee had done an initial investigation earlier in the week. The warrant was based on the confirmed presence of dogs within the deteriorated structure and a second unsuccessful attempt to contact the owner, the agency said.
The SPCA said the warrant cited a need to remove any animals found within the structure for their own safety.
(Daily Freeman - March 29, 2016)