Speak out for those who cannot

Across the North Country the recent response from our readers about the charges against a Plattsburgh pet store owner for neglect and animal cruelty has shown how much we love our animals.

Many of our readers were angry, concerned, and unhappy with the quality of care given to kittens at the local pet store in Plattsburgh and took to social media to air their unhappiness.

“This is awful and makes me sick to my stomach,” wrote Jennifer Coupal Dwyer on The Burgh’s Facebook page.

In the case against Northern Puppies, the store owner Tammy Staley was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty. Staley was charged for improperly caring for 18 cats, two of which were found dead in the shop. Three other kittens later died in the care of a veterinarian after being willingly surrendered to police. Two additional charges were for not providing two chow dogs, ages 2 and 7, with cages large enough to fit them.

Staley was arrested after medical tests on the kittens showed the cause of death as an intestinal parasite called coccidia. Other health problems included ring worm, malnutrition, ear mites, flees, eye and respiratory infections.

The strong, immediate response from the community was an indicator of just how quick society jumps to the defense of animals who cannot speak for themselves.

A.J. Wells wrote on The Burgh’s Facebook page: “I for one, hope that she never gets her license back to sell pets. She’s not owning any responsibility for this. Her excuse is that it happened because she was away from the store. So, if your child dies when you are ill, it’s OK? Ah, NO, you are still responsible. Innocent animals have died and suffered due to this woman’s actions! Or should I say inactions?”

The law requires that pet dealers offer a legal minimum standard of care to companion animals such as dogs and cats. Animals must be provided housing that is of adequate size and structurally sound and animals must be cared for or humanely euthanized.

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