FONDA, N.Y. – Animal advocates were in Montgomery County Court Tuesday as a judge heard complaints against a local breeder.
Activists asked the judge to issue a warrant to immediately seize dogs at Flat Creek Border Collies.
New York State Police at Fonda in conjunction with the Montgomery County District Attorney's office began investigating complaints of possible animal neglect at the kennel, located in the Town of Root. According to authorities, several visits to the kennel did not initially reveal any violations of New York State Law or local codes.
As the investigation continued, and based upon the recommendations of a licensed veterinarian and consultation with the New York State Attorney's General Office, the owner of the property, Herbert Weich, was charged with a violation of the Agriculture & Markets Law section 353-B(2), for failure to provide adequate shelter.
On Tuesday, Eric Bellows, said in court that he filed a complaint with State Police when he said, he saw deplorable conditions at the Flat Creek Border Collies operation in Sprakers.
"I went there. There wasn't proper shelter. There wasn't hay in the barrels. There was the plastic barrels as homes for these dogs anybody knows that that's not insulated," said Bellows.
However, some neighbors, like Pat Cardamn, didn't see a problem with the way the nearly 70 dogs were being cared for.
"I mean, they all got the igloos," said Cardamn. "They all got water, plenty of food."
Weich agreed to comply with an agreement between the Attorney General and the Montgomery County SPCA. Forty adult dogs will be removed from the property and placed in the care of the SPCA.
The owner has until January 21 to build 24 new dog houses for shelter at his property -- a neighbor will be constructing them. He must also have adequate food and water for the 30 dogs still on the property. Puppies on the property must be kept inside when it is below freezing, and the owner must fix a heated water system as well as an algae problem.
If he makes the changes, the 40 dogs that were removed will be returned to his property and placed back in his care.
Richard Rosenthal, an Attorney with the Lexus Project said "It was never our intention to take his dogs away."
Weich will answer the Agriculture and Markets Law charge in the Town of Root Justice Court on January 13.
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