SARANAC — Tuesday afternoon, Tammy and Michael Staley surrendered ownership of 24 puppies abandoned in the woods to Plattsburgh City Police Department.
As of Tuesday evening — as a crowd demonstrated in Plattsburgh Plaza to demand all the animals at Mrs. Staley’s Northern Puppies pet shop be taken away — 17 of the young dogs had been found.
Thirteen had been rescued by Monday night, with four more Tuesday, Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot said.
And charges were pending.
The plight of the pups, who police said Mr. Staley dumped at various wooded areas Saturday, riled North Country residents and spurred them to search for them.
More than 20 people gathered at noon Tuesday in the parking lot of Saranac High School to organize an effort from that location.
“I brought a truck full of supplies,” said Kathy Ames of Saranac. “You’ve got to be over-prepared.”
Searchers, who came from as far away as Malone, Chateaugay and Rouses Point to help, planned to wear gloves to protect themselves from the possibly contagious diseases the puppies could have.
“I think it’s despicable,” said Amanda Racine of Rouses Point, speaking about Mr. Staley’s alleged actions.
She said she bought her pit bull, Sammy, from Northern Puppies after she caught wind of possible abuse there.
“I feel that’s a rescue more than a purchase.”
‘IT’S PRETTY SICK’
“It would be wrong for me not to be here,” said Carrie Redmond of Plattsburgh.
She volunteers at the Elmore SPCA in Peru and owns four rescued animals.
“It’s pretty sick that someone would take 24 puppies and dump them in the woods when they can’t defend themselves,” Travis Vann of Redford said.
Vann and Brandon St. John of Plattsburgh created the “Puppy Search” Facebook page encouraging people to pitch in.