Press-Republican

Police, Fire, Courts

November 8, 2013

Northern Puppies owner pleads guilty to animal cruelty

PLATTSBURGH — Northern Puppies owner Tammy Staley pleaded guilty Thursday to five counts of animal cruelty.

With her attorney, Frank Zappala, Staley entered her plea before Judge Mark Rogers in Plattsburgh City Court on Thursday morning, sources told the Press-Republican.

Also in the courtroom was Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Jason Marx, who is assigned to the case.

Staley’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2014, according to Plattsburgh City Court.

She could face up to two years in County Jail.

Her husband, Michael Staley, was scheduled to appear in court Thursday, as well, but his case was adjourned until Nov. 21, City Court officials said.

‘FAKED A BURGLARY’

In July, Mrs. Staley was charged with 20 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after an unannounced inspection by State Department of Agriculture and Markets inspectors and Plattsburgh City Police turned up a dead kitten and several others in poor health, according to police.

In August, Staley’s husband, Michael, pleaded not guilty to 24 counts of animal abandonment.

Police said Mr. Staley admitted he faked a burglary at Northern Puppies, taking the 24 young dogs housed there. He then left them in wooded areas around the county.

He told the Press-Republican in an earlier interview that he and his wife could not afford the veterinarian care the dogs needed.

Nineteen puppies were recovered by police and numerous area residents who searched for the animals for days.

The dogs have since been adopted by area residents.

Mrs. Staley did not return a message left for her by the Press-Republican on Thursday afternoon.

In October, the Northern Puppies sign was removed from the Plattsburgh Plaza store and replaced with one dubbing the shop Critter Hut Pet Shop and advertising a sale of up to 75 percent off.

Earlier, signs had announced a “going out of business sale,” but that was not included on the new signage.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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