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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.