PLATTSBURGH — A Plattsburgh pet-store owner was charged with 20 counts of cruelty to animals after an unannounced inspection.
Tammy Staley, 33, owner of Northern Puppies in Plattsburgh Plaza, was arrested by Plattsburgh City Police at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
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She was released pending an arraignment in Plattsburgh City Court on July 25, City Police Lt. Scott Beebie said Wednesday.
The investigation began in June as a joint effort between the Plattsburgh City Police Department and the New York State Agriculture and Market’s Division of Animal Industry.
A “spot inspection” with uniformed officers and Ag and Markets representatives uncovered two dead kittens and several other kittens in poor health in the back room of the pet shop, Plattsburgh City Police said in a news release.
“The Ag and Markets inspectors, when dealing with pet dealers, can walk in unannounced and do an inspection at any time,” Beebie said. “It’s part of the license (conditions).”
Since the animals were seized, three other kittens have since died, succumbing to medical issues they incurred as a result of Staley’s criminal conduct, City Police said.
During the inspection, several other animals were found enclosed in cages too small for them, covered in their own feces and urine, City Police said.
In total, 36 puppies were in the store, along with an unknown number of “non-companion animals,” including birds, lizards and snakes, Beebie said.
Other than the five dead kittens, 25 others have been seized by Plattsburgh Police Department, Beebie said. That includes a cat that was given to the store that had just recently given birth to five kittens.
Eighteen kittens of mixed breeds were taken to Eagle’s Nest Veterinary Hospital in Plattsburgh for treatment of multiple medical issues, including ringworm, malnutrition, ear mites, fleas and eye and respiratory infections, police said.