Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oppenheim investigating dog hoarders


OPPENHEIM - Dog Warden William Lints says at least 25 cases of animal cruelty are being investigated in his town, and about a dozen of them are classified as "hoarding."

"Oppenheim could be a poster child for animal cruelty, and it needs to be stopped," said Lints, who took the position in January after the resignation of Kenneth Decker.

He said recent complaints from residents have yielded several cases being investigated by the Fulton County Sheriff's Department and New York State Police. He's most disturbed by about 15 residents who are "collecting" dogs, keeping them in the homes in cramped quarters and unsanitary conditions.

"The smell is noxious, with urine and ammonia. The dogs are in cages stacked two and three high," with waste falling onto the animals below, he said.

Supervisor George Capek credits a vocal minority of residents who recently began identifying potential mistreatment of dogs with helping to jump-start awareness.

"I had no idea anything was happening, but all of a sudden, this became a problem," he said. "People started to complain."

The town responded with an ordinance limiting households to six dogs, Capek said. Residents can apply for a permit to house up to 15 dogs, but any more requires approval from the town. No residents have asked for approval, he said...." More

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