Jennifer Lynn Gordon, 32, and Joshua Dolittle, 39, each was charged on Saturday with three counts of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor under state Agriculture and Markets Law. They were issued appearance tickets for March 23 in Mamakating Town Court.
Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said they found three generations of inbred dogs, including two litters of puppies.
Chaboty said the cruelty charges relate to failure to provide necessary medical care to three dogs: Lady, a six-month-old female, determined to have a fractured pelvis; Bubba, a 6-month-old male with a severe ear infection; and a two-week-old male puppy with severe deformities and clear signs of malnutrition.
Animal Control Officer Joanne Gerow said four of the puppies had to be euthanized due to the severity of their limb deformities and the likelihood of future severe medical issues.
"The vet is confident the deformities are due to the inbreeding," Gerow said.
Several other dogs needed treatment for other signs of neglect, including hair loss and skin issues, she said.
The couple had started out with a male dog and a female dog, which were not neutered or spayed, officials said. The dogs bred, and some of their puppies eventually bred.
The couple rents the home, which is owned by Kenneth Nakdimen, one of the developers of the controversial Chestnut Ridge townhouse project. Building inspector Mary Grass issued violations against Nakdimen, citing an infestation of flies in the kitchen/dining room ceiling light, more than 30 bags worth of trash piled on and under the rear deck, and the unfinished basement converted to living/sleeping space without proper permits.
The couple's children were allowed to stay in the home, as were two cats in satisfactory condition, officials said.
One mother dog and her seven pups were taken to the Middletown Humane Society. Catskill Animal Rescue took the other mother and her four remaining pups. The two male dogs went to Walden Humane. Homes were found for four 6-month-old dogs, Gerow said.
"It's sad," Gerow said, "because this all could have been avoided by spaying and neutering these animals."
(Times Herald-Record - March 1, 2017)