LocalSYR

Shelter staff says neglected dogs are improving

12 dogs seriously neglected in Herkimer County are making progress just a month after they were rescued.
Mohawk (WSYR-TV) – 12 dogs seriously neglected in Herkimer County are making progress just a month after they were rescued.

Their owner, Barbara Smith, was arrested last week in connection to the case. She faces charges including 12 counts of failure to provide sustenance, 12 counts of not having a dog license, and 12 counts of not having rabies vaccinations.

Veterinarians say the dogs are showing encouraging signs.

Shelter Manager Joanne Johnson says the dogs are less anxious, which she calls a baby step toward recovery.

“They’ve been putting on weight, they're eating well, their skin condition is clearing up. It will still take two more treatments to get the mange out of their system,” Johnson said.

Three of the dogs have shown enough improvement that the staff has allowed them to reside in the regular part of the shelter.

“That's our goal with all of them. We don’t want to see them secluded in here either,” Johnson said.

As the dogs progress, a legal battle is under way.

Smith’s lawyer, Mark Wolber, told NewsChannel 9 last month that his client denies any wrongdoing.

“She has always cared for dogs, she's taken in strays, she loves these dogs,” Wolber said at the time.

The Herkimer County Humane Society says they too love the dogs, but they still legally belong to Smith.

The dogs’ destination or destinations, however, will be determined by the courts.

Johnson says she hopes the shelter gains ownership of the animals they’ve been taking care of for the past month.

She says the dogs can continue to heal if they remain in the shelter.

Johnson says the shelter has received a substantial number of donations over the part month and that people continue to donate.

Page: [[$index + 1]]