Two Pennsylvania brothers who had 187 dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, seized from their property in July have pleaded guilty to two counts each of cruelty.
Thomas Ambrosia said he and his brother, Albert, pleaded guilty to “get this behind us,” and insisted they treated the dogs “like our boys and girls.”
Acting on tips, state dog wardens and state troopers executed a search warrant at a house in Benton, in Columbia County, last month and found the corpses of 30 Chihuahuas in a freezer. They seized 187 other dogs living there.
Authorities said the deceased dogs apparently died of natural causes. Veterinarians who checked the surviving Chihuahuas and two other dogs removed from the residence found only minor health issues, like eye, tooth and skin problems.
Pennsylvania law requires anyone who keeps, transfers or boards more than 25 dogs to obtain a kennel license and be inspected annually. Thomas Ambrosia, 57, said he and his 54-year-old brother had applied a kennel permit, but had been denied. They now have 10 dogs.
The brothers were fined more than $500 as part of their guilty pleas. One cruelty count involved neglect of a male coonhound with a sore on its leg, and the other involved a long-haired Chihuahua whose hair was badly matted.
At least one dozen shelters in Pennsylvania stepped in to help place the dogs.
(Photo: Some of the seized Chihuahuas; Pennyslvania Department of Agriculture)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambrosia, animal cruelty, animals, Benton, brothers, chihuahuas, columbia county, guilty, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, pennsylvania, pets, pleas
State dog wardens and police removed 206 Chihuahuas – many of them sick – from a home in Columbia County in northeastern Pennsylvania last week.
Dog wardens and state police executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of Albert and Thomas Ambrosia, in Benton, after receiving tips that dogs were being hoarded.
Officials removed several dead dogs from the home, and many more that were suffering from skin, eye and dental issues, said a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture. State police are determining whether to file animal cruelty charges, she said.
The dogs were taken to the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg to get medical treatment and were being divided up among shelters on Friday and over the weekend.
According to the Reading Eagle, two Berks County animal shelters were among those that took in some of the dogs. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County announced Friday that it would take in 30 of the dogs, and the Humane Society of Berks County received six.
“This is one of the worst cases of animal hoarding we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, but through the efficient work of dog wardens, state and county animal response teams and local animal shelters, the dogs are one step closer to finding healthy forever homes,” said Mike Pechart, a deputy secretary who oversees state Dog Law enforcement at the Agriculture Department.
The two men who kept the dogs at their home treated them as pets and identified them by name to law enforcement officials who took them away.
The Animal Rescue League reported that 10 of the 30 Chihuahuas it received are older dogs that require more extensive care and will be placed with the group’s foster home program for older animals.
Officials from both the Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League said it is unclear when the dogs will be available for adoption.
“This is a terrible event, but we’re grateful that the Office of Dog Law Enforcement took the initiative to rescue these dogs,” said Dylan Heckart, Berks County Humane Society director of development and pubic relations. “We plan to offer the Chihuahuas the best veterinary care available and place them for adoption as soon as they’re ready.”
(Photo: Dylan Heckart, director of development and public relations at the Humane Society of Berks County, with Chihuahuas rescued from a Columbia County home; by Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Albert Ambrosia, animal rescue league, animals, Benton, berks county, chihuahuas, columbia county, dead, department of agriculture, dogs, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, humane society, pennsylvania, pets, seized, sick, Thomas Ambrosia
A Shetland sheepdog removed from the suburban New York home of a hoarder four years ago is back in town, and performing in a different kind of packed house — in a stage production of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”
Colt was one of 23 dogs removed from the home of a woman in Wesley Hills in 2008, according to the Journal News.
Ramapo police and members of the SPCA wore gas masks to enter the home, the condition of which was described as squalid, and the homeowner was charged with hoarding and neglecting the animals.
At some point, before her trial, she got Colt back, and he quickly tried to escape, getting struck by a car in the process. The accident left him with a broken back that required surgery and a body cast.
The woman later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, relinquishing ownership of all but one of her dogs and paying a $125 fine.
Colt became the ward of the Hudson Valley Humane Society, living in the Manhattan and Stony Point homes of its acting president, Ann Marie Gaudio.
This spring, though, Gaudio got a call from the Antrim Playhouse — located about a half-mile from the house Colt had been hoarded in. They were looking for a canine to play the role of the bunkhouse dog in its production of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”
Gaudio suggested the producer and director audition Colt.
“Colt has the best bio of all of us,” Director Brooke Malloy Ortiz told the “He’s real sweet, a retired therapy dog. He’s not old, so we changed the dialogue to talk about how he has this wound on his leg and his back is broken. And we wet down his fur to make him look a bit more worn.”
In Steinbeck’s story of two itinerant farm workers, an old handyman named Candy has an old dog that one of the men, Carlson, constantly berates and abuses, eventually persuading the boss to let him put the dog out of its misery — an act that foreshadows what’s ahead.
Candy is played by Gordon Wolotira, who, under the director’s orders, was the only one allowed to pet or feed Colt during rehearsals.
The actor who plays Carlson, who yells at the dog several times in the play, wasn’t allowed to bond with Colt at all.
As a result, “Every time that Carlson has to pull the dog away from Candy, Colt growls at him and sometimes sits down and will not budge,” the director said. “We didn’t even train him to do that. But there’s a lot of shouting on stage, so he just wants to stay with Gordon, who has treats for him.”
Colt spends about a dozen minutes onstage, but he provides “some of the most engrossing moments of the play and it certainly gets the audience’s attention,” Wolotria said. “By the time they drag him off, it’s heart-breaking.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann marie gaudio, antrim, antrim playhouse, book, candy, carson, colt, comebacks, dog, dogs, f mice and men, hoarded, hoarder, home, hudson valley humane society, john steinbeck, mercy killing, new york, of mice and men, pets, play, plays, production, role, seized, shetland sheepdog, stage, wesley hills
Hutch was one of 20 dogs living in a single room of a mobile home in Louisiana. They rarely got out and ate only dumplings, as that was all their owner could afford.
Authorities were tipped off about the conditions the dogs were living in, at which point several rescue organizations were contacted, including NOLA Lab Rescue, in New Orleans, established a couple of years ago by Kim Breaux.
Hutch resembled a Lab, though it was hard to tell what breed or breeds he was given all the mange, sores, hairless spots and infections.
Breaux was able to find a volunteer to foster Hutch from among her supporters, and after treatment for his mange and other problems, he made the trip to a new temporary home in Tennessee.
Melissa S., the foster mom, recounts the full story at Animal Hoarding News & Info.
On Nov. 7, 2010, Hutch arrived at his foster home, one he would share with four other dogs.
“He was a little timid at first, but he soon fell into place with the other, eating and sleeping with them. He soon learned how to fetch the Frisbee like all the others. He really didn’t come with much “baggage” … he was house broken in no time at all … he was very eager to listen and learn. You could tell that he craved love and attention and began to blossom.”
“A face that nobody could turn away from” is how she describes him.
“After he was in our home for just a few short weeks, my husband decided he could not bear to part with Hutch, so we officially adopted him. He is such a special boy, he makes us laugh every day.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 20 dogs, adopted, after, animals, before, dogs, foster, fostered, hoard, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, hutch, infections, kim breaux, labrador, louisiana, mange, mobile home, new orleans, nola lab rescue, one room, pets, sores
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
The Michigan man charged with animal cruelty after authorities found hundreds of Chihuahuas in his home, live and dead, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement yesterday.
Kenneth Lang Jr. of Dearborn, will serve five years’ probation under supervision of a Wayne County mental health court.
Lang, 56, admitted in the plea that the animals in his home were subjected to abusive conditions because he was overwhelmed by their sheer numbers, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lang will not be permitted to own any animals. He’s also required to make $3,000 restitution to the Animal Legal Defense Fund for the examination of the dead dogs, and restitution to the city of Dearborn.
Lang’s lawyer, James Schmier, said Lang has an IQ of about 70 and suffers from several psychiatric conditions. “He’s a very human guy with a very human story, and with very human frailties,” the lawyer said.
Lang was found living in squalid conditions with more than 100 live Chihuahuas and more than 100 dead ones found frozen in freezers. The prosecutors said of the 105 that were rescued, all but 13 have been successfully adopted. Those are living in a no-kill shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adopted, animal cruelty, animals, chihuahua, chihuahuas, cruelty, dearborn, guilty, hoarded, hoarder, hoarding, home, house, kenneth lang, michigan, neglect, pets, plea agreement, probation, rescued, sentence