ELLENVILLE – In what was apparently a horrendous instance of animal neglect, the Ellenville Police Department (EPD), along with the Ulster County SPCA, were called to an Ellenville home after a neighbor had phoned in a report that dogs were potentially being mistreated. Ellenville Police Chief Phil Mattricion said that scene the officers discovered was quite disturbing.
"There was a litter of puppies there. One of the puppies was deceased and being eaten by another dog," Mattricion said.
There were a total of 11 dogs at the residence at 6 Broadhead Street, four adult dogs and seven puppies, including the one that was deceased. Adam Saunders, who is an investigator with the Ulster County SPCA, said that his office is still trying to sort out the details of exactly how these dogs ended up in this situation.
"From what we determined yesterday, the owner was out of town or in the hospital, we have yet to figure out which," he said.
According to Saunders, the owner of the home, Mr. Suber Jones, had apparently arranged for someone to take care of the dogs. However, it appears that this person — Mr. James Anthony, also of Ellenville — was not in fact caring of the dogs. The latter has since been charged under Section 353 of Article 26 of the NY State Code, which covers "failure to provide proper sustenance" to an animal. The dogs were without food or water, and the puppies were apparently gnawing on the carpet.
The SPCA also found that one of the adult dogs was missing a limb and had a protruding bone — and that the wound was fresh, having occurred sometime in the past few days.
"According to our [SPCA] vet, it was at least four or five days old," he said.
Saunders said that he could not confirm exactly how the adult dog was injured, but that there was a report that the dog may have had its leg caught in a backyard fence. Investigators searched for the missing limb, according to Saunders, but were unable to locate it.
Brian Shapiro, Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA, said that the dogs have since been taken to the shelter in Kingston, and that they are undergoing evaluation and treatment. In a press release distributed over the weekend, Shapiro's office confirmed the misdemeanor charges against Anthony, and said that it is possible that other charges could be pending. The release did not say whether Jones might be charged as well. Anthony will appear in the Village of Ellenville Court on June 8.
In a later interview, Shapiro said that he wanted to thank the Ellenville Police Department for its invaluable assistance, and that the Ulster County SPCA appreciates the hard work the EPD has demonstrated on this and a number of other occasions.