Friday, May 8, 2009

Seized dogs available for adoption

Must be adopted by July 1

West Milford - The West Milford Animal Shelter may now adopt out nine of the 28 dogs that were seized from a local woman’s home in February, along with the four cats also taken. Two dogs have already found homes.

The shelter received a court order signed by Passaic County Judge Margaret Mary McVeigh on April 30 giving the shelter permission to put those dogs up for adoption, according to Bettina Bieri, the volunteer health officer for the animal shelter.

In addition, one of the dogs was returned to the ex-husband of the original owner, Marion “Mayme” Puccio, from whom the animals were taken. ...

That was a far cry from the conditions they were taken from. Puccio ran Trinity Retreats Rescue, a pit bull rescue at her home. The dogs had all been crated and moved into the house, which smelled of urine and feces. None were let out of their crates and many had feces caked onto their bodies. Puccio has said she rescued these dogs from city streets and from dog fighting rings.

The nine dogs at the West Milford Animal Shelter—these were designated by the court as the most adoptable of the seized dogs—must be adopted by July 1 or else they will also be sent to Animal Rescue Services. Bieri said she hopes the dogs can be adopted before that since the transition may be difficult for them.

“Personalities are not an issue,” said Bieri. “There are some housebreaking issues. Half of the dogs we have are pits and pit mixes and the others are not. They have gotten lots of attention here, a bed and blanket. They love their walks in the sunshine.”...
Photo by Mike Bousquet

WEST MILFORD - Adoptions to begin for dogs seized from Gould Rd.
by David M. Zimmer

"...Ultimately, Garbowski and her daughter Lysa De Laurentis, the other SPCA agent at the raid, seized 32 animals on Feb. 12 before transporting them to the West Milford Animal Shelter. As a result of the raid, a total of 40 summonses were issued to the caretaker, who allegedly mistreated the 28 dogs and four cats that she was attempting to rescue. She is currently fighting the charges in Superior Court, located in Passaic County courthouse. ..

...Arlene Remus, who once worked with Puccio in her home, told Suburban Trends that Puccio rarely took the dogs out of their cages for cleaning or exercise. Even when Puccio kept the majority of her dogs outside in kennels, Remus said Puccio brought in additional dogs to live inside the home after the kennels were filled.

Remus’ daughter, Bethann Remus-Shoemaker, said that Puccio was exhibiting all the traits of a hoarder by allowing the animals to live in their own filth instead of providing those animals with a second chance at a life worth enduring.“We tried to set up adoption days and she’d always have an excuse at the last minute as to why we couldn’t take the dogs. She only adopts dogs out when volunteers force her to,” Remus-Shoemaker said in an e-mail.

As a result of her first-hand experiences with Puccio and concern for the well-being of the animals, Remus said that she contacted the SPCA late last year to have the dogs removed from their crates inside the home..."