Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Investigations and Other Agencies

The SPCA receives calls daily regarding alleged cruelty, abuse and neglect.  Sometimes the calls come from other service agencies just as we would call other agencies when we are investigating to alert them of problems. (Child services, codes, police)  A frequent offender comes to mind that has involved multiple agencies. 

He and his wife have come to the attention of the SPCA as early as 2007.  They currently have three young children from ages three to eight.  Their pattern is to obtain animals and neglect them to the point where they must be removed. The home conditions are so unsanitary that the children must be removed and codes inspectors must be called in to determine if the home is habitable.

Would you believe that we have seized 122 animals from these people?  Dogs, fish, rabbits, hamsters, chickens, ducks and goats.  I have no idea what is in their heads but they get these animals and eventually leave them to suffer in unsanitary conditions without food and water.  I will never forget the 33 rabbits and guinea pigs we removed from an unventilated barn in 90 degree heat.  None of the animals had water.  We took them to the shelter and began to set up pens giving them fresh water, food, and clean bedding.  By the time the last one was set up we noticed that the first ones had drank all of their water!

The animals were eventually released for adoption, they were found guilty of animal cruelty and ordered not to have any more animals as a condition to get their children back.  It took less than a week for them to violate that order. 

Did I mention that they were growing marijuana on the property? 

So how many agencies have been involved with these people?
  • SPCA
  • Children and Youth
  • Codes
  • State Police drug task force
  • The district justice
  • District Attorney's Office
  • The judge for the children's protective order
It is unbelievably frustrating. Because one of the agencies (Codes) called us about a condemned house with animals within on May 28, 2013.  We removed four dogs, one rabbit, one hamster, and a tank full of fish.  Guess who it is?  Yes, this same family. 

The family was living in a truck until they were finally re homed in a family shelter.  The man wants his animals back.  We are now stuck in limbo as the animals are not legally ours and they have no where to live with any animals.  It is a vicious circle that never seems to end.  Counseling and education have no effect and meanwhile  many animals have suffered at their hands and will most likely continue to do so.  Worse yet, the three small children are growing in unhealthy environments.  It is maddening. 

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