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The East Road Ten


It’s the beginning of a long journey for the East Road Ten.

On June 4th, 10 Shih-Tzus dogs were seized from an East Road property in the town of Ephratah. Their physical condition as well as the conditions in which they had lived for the better part of a year were as heartbreaking as they were infuriating.

Each of the dogs were discovered to be heavily matted to the point where they were barely able to move, caked in urine and feces, and their heads were barely distinguishable from their tails. Allegedly, food and water were sparse. Several of the dogs appeared to have resorted to eating wood chips that were observed on the camper floor just to sate their hunger. Unfortunately a veterinary analysis revealed intestinal parasites that were robbing their tiny bodies of what little nutrition they had access to. They were found to be suffering from chronic skin, ear, and eye infections.  Many of the dogs are facing losing eyes and limbs as a result of the damage done by these infections. While these dogs have were found living in horrific conditions and suffered incredible trauma, they are proving to be incredibly resilient and incredibly grateful for the love and affection of the volunteers who are caring for them.

Each pup’s care began with a much-needed groom (with help from sedatives employed to ease their extreme discomfort and to keep them calm) and a very thorough veterinary examination.  Once the exam was complete, we could begin to properly treat their infections and start to stabilize their condition. They have a long road of healing ahead of them, which will likely include multiple vet visits, lengthy treatments, and surgeries to correct the physical damage caused by their lengthy period of neglect. Many are learning to walk without their legs and body being bound by matting and they are all slowly gaining weight and strength. We have invested $8,000 into their initial care, and we expect for future medical expenses to exceed an additional $10,000 as we work to resolve the serious issues that these dogs are dealing with. Regional’s volunteers are working tirelessly to provide the tender loving care they’ve been deprived of for so long while the criminal case and investigation is ongoing.

We understand that many of you are outraged and angry with the people who are responsible for the condition of these dogs, and rightfully so. But right now, given the limitations of the current laws surrounding animal cruelty and neglect there is only so much we can do within the confines of the law to seek justice for the East Road Ten. We cannot at this time guarantee that these dogs will not be returned to their owners, but rest assured that we and our Attorney are doing everything in our power to make sure they never go back. These dogs deserve a new start, a second chance, and an opportunity to know kind of the life they always should have been able to live, and we are doing everything that we can legally to make that happen.

The owners have each been charged with 10 counts of Agriculture and Markets Law section 353 – Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals: Failure to Provide Sustenance- a class A misdemeanor.  If you feel that the punishment does not fit the crime, we encourage you to contact your Senator and Assemblyperson and encourage them to make animal cruelty crimes such as this more than simply a misdemeanor and to pass legislation to ensure that people that commit these crimes against animals are never able to own animals ever again.

The East Road Ten are in desperate need of your help and are counting on you to show them what the good people in this world are like! You can also donate to the significant cost of their ongoing medical expenses by donating at https://fcrspca.org/donatenow (use designation “Care of Shih-Tzus”) or by sending a check with Shih-Tzus in the memo payable to Regional SPCA, 117 West Fulton St, Gloversville, New York 12078.

Any funds raised over the amount required to restore these dogs to good health will be allocated to Regional’s Annie’s Fund, which covers the cost of lifesaving care for others who come Regional in critical condition and desperate need of emergency medical attention.

We will update you on their conditions as soon as it becomes legally permissible but please know that each of us at the Fulton County Regional SPCA is working around the clock to give them the best possible care and to make sure that they never have to return to a life of squalor and neglect. On behalf of the East Road Ten we thank you for your commitment and support.

Multiple agencies combine strengths to fight animal crimes in Fulton County, NY.

GLOVERSVILLE, NY-The Fulton County Regional SPCA and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office are proud to announce the formation of the Fulton County Animal Crimes Task Force. The task force is a multi-agency network that will respond to and prosecute allegations of animal abuse, neglect, and cruelty in Fulton County, New York. The group will collaborate to investigate reported animal crimes and/or situations of animal neglect throughout Fulton County and utilize the resources available to work toward achieving justice on behalf of the animals.

The task force is comprised of representatives of Fulton County Regional SPCA, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton County Probation Department, New York State Police, the Gloversville Police Department, as well as area Veterinarians.

“This task force was created to be the voice for animals who have none. We need to do better to protect such helpless animals; those who love us unconditionally and only ask that we love and protect them in return. Our goal is to create a network of professionals throughout Fulton County who will work together to efficiently investigate and prosecute animal abuse cases. We want to make sure that not only our law enforcement officers, but the general public know what to look for and what to do when they suspect or observe animal abuse. It is very important that these offenders are prosecuted effectively while ensuring that the offender does not reoffend. I am very proud to say we have some of best people on this task force and am excited to get to work. I want to leave you with one quick reminder, if you see something, say something. Visit our website and send us a message if you suspect animal abuse or call your local law enforcement agency.” says Acting District Attorney Amanda Nellis.

“We have the privilege of and a responsibility to educate the community and its Law Enforcement Officers about these crimes. We are confident that having a dedicated and focused animal welfare team spanning the County will strengthen our collective ability to making a difference in the lives of animals in the community we all serve” states FCRSPCA President Renee L. Earl

“Gloversville Police Department takes crimes against animals very seriously and has worked well with Fulton County Regional SPCA and surrounding agencies in the past. We look forward to working together as a task force to pool our resources and increase our knowledge on these matters.” comments Gloversville Police Department’s Chief Anthony Clay.

One important component of the Task Force are the members of the Fulton County Probation Department. “Conviction on animal abuse and animal cruelty charges implies an inherent inability to provide appropriate care to animals in the future. Since serious and violent animal cruelty offences are often associated with other crimes, it is imperative to hold perpetrators accountable with such sentences as a substantial period of probation supervision to allow for treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. With a period of probation, a judge can ban an offender from owning or possessing animals, as well as have all affected animals be forfeited to an animal protection organization for rehoming and placement. In addition, while the ban of owning or possessing animals is in effect, the judge can request that probation officers be permitted to make unannounced home visits as a term of probation to ensure that this provision is enforced” explains Cheryl Galarneau, Fulton County Probation Dept. Director.

“The task force is a welcome new tool providing training and investigative support in our County. Having the ability to collaborate with a team of professionals that are dedicated to the welfare of animals will be an incredible resource for the County. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department is looking forward to the partnership the task force brings and the successes which can be achieved as we share resources, knowledge, and expertise across agencies and professions.” says Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.

The Task Force meets bi-monthly while keeping in constant communication in between meetings. The community is welcomed to visit the website at https://actf.fcrspca.org. “We are undoubtedly stronger together and we are all working toward the same goal of advocating for and protecting the animals in our community.” says Earl.


GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y., APRIL 29th, 2020 – Fulton County Regional SPCA is proud to announce and welcome Ms. Deborah L. Komar as Chief Law Enforcement Officer. Komar will be responsible for overseeing Regional SPCA’s team of Humane Law Enforcement Division and will also serve a key role as official liaison between the shelter and local law enforcement agencies.

“It is an honor to welcome Ms. Komar to the Regional SPCA team as Chief Law Enforcement Officer. She brings her compassionate heart and many years of law enforcement expertise. Our volunteers, community, and the animals we serve will greatly benefit from her knowledge and leadership. We are all looking forward to learning from her”, states Renee Earl, SPCA President.

Deborah joins the team of Regional SPCA volunteers following 33 years as a member of the New York State Police. As a retired Senior Investigator responsible for the oversight of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations (Mayfield and Fonda), Ms. Komar has experience investigating numerous animal cruelty and neglect cases as well as multi-animal seizures and subsequent criminal prosecutions. In addition to her time spent with the State Police, she has served as a training consultant for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for the last four years.

“I am honored to serve in this role as part of such a wonderful organization. Our little shelter acts not only as a voice for abused, neglected and abandoned animals but as an educational resource for the community. It has been amazing to see what is accomplished when a group of like-minded individuals come together to work towards a common goal” states Komar.

Ms. Komar has served as a volunteer with the Regional SPCA for two years; assisting with the care of animals, events and fundraising efforts. She currently resides with her three rescue dogs; Lance, Lily, and Grinchy; and rescue cat, Gibbs.

The addition of a Chief Law Enforcement Officer follows Regional’s June 2019 announcement to reorganize as an SPCA. “Our goal with reorganization was to share the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of the animals in our area. Adding this position is an important step in making this goal a reality” notes Earl. “We had hoped for a quicker process, but all good things take time and preparation. We are taking every step necessary to guarantee a successful launch of our Humane Law Enforcement Division and plan to roll out the application process for Peace Officers in the coming months.”.

Fulton County Regional SPCA is a not-for-profit, volunteer-operated, donation-funded organization originally founded as Regional Animal Shelter in 2002. Regional SPCA’s Mission is to engage the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals, providing immediate shelter and care for any homeless or abused animals and either reuniting these animals with their owners or finding them new, loving homes. Regional also actively promotes animal and owner education, training, and public awareness to improve the lives of the animals in our community and beyond.

To learn more, call the shelter at (518)725-5956 or visit fcrspca.org

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