GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On June 4, 10 Shih-Tzu breed dogs, along with three goats, and several cats were rescued from a property in Ephratah. The Fulton County Regional SPCA has since cared for the Shih-Tzus, saying Monday that 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 was found with heavily-matted fur, to the point where they were barely able to move. They were caked in urine and feces, and their heads were barely distinguishable from their tails. Allegedly, food and water were sparse at the Ephratah property. Several of the dogs, according to the SPCA, had resorted to eating wood chips seen on the camper floor because they were so hungry.

A veterinary analysis of the dogs found intestinal parasites that were robbing their bodies of what little nutrition they had access to. They were found to be suffering from chronic skin, eye, and ear infections. Many of the dogs could lose eyes and limbs as a result of the damage done by these infections.

Each dog’s treatment at the Fulton County Regional SPCA began with a groom and a very thorough veterinary exam. Once the checkup was complete, volunteers started to treat their infections and stabilize their condition. The dogs have a long road of recovery ahead of them, which volunteers said will likely include multiple vet visits, lengthy treatments, and surgeries.

The SPCA has invested around $8,000 into the dogs’ initial care and expects future medical expenses to top $10,000. Volunteers are working tirelessly to provide the tender loving care they’ve been deprived of for so long, while the criminal case and investigation are ongoing.

Given the limitations of the current laws surrounding animal cruelty and neglect, there is only so much that the SPCA can do to seek justice for the dogs- who they’ve named the “East Road Ten.” There is no guarantee at this time that the dogs will not be returned to their owners, but the SPCA and its Attorney are doing everything they can to make sure the dogs don’t go back.

The owners of the dogs and the other allegedly abandoned animals were charged with 10 counts each of Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353 — Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals: Failure to Provide Sustenance. Identified by the Amsterdam Police Department as Harvey Martz II, 42, and Laure Murray, 52, the duo were issued appearance tickets after their arrest returnable to the Town of Ephratah Court. Their next court date has not yet been announced.

You can donate to the significant cost of the Shih-Tzus’ medical expenses online, using the designation “Care of Shih-Tzus.” Anyone interested in donating to the Fulton County Regional SPCA can also send donations to PO Box 1274, Gloversville, NY 12078.