August 31, 2013

Thousands donated for puppies

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City Police Department has received $25,000 to pay for the vet bills of 19 puppies allegedly dumped in woods around Clinton County.

The donations have “drastically reduced the financial responsibility on the City of Plattsburgh,” Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Scott Beebie said Friday.

Beebie was unsure whether the $15,000 grant City Police secured from Elmore SPCA and the $10,000 raised from donations and fundraisers have covered all the vet bills, but City Police Chief Desmond Racicot had said in early August the bills had amounted to almost $20,000.

At that point, 17 of 24 puppies allegedly dropped off by Michael Staley, 36, of Plattsburgh had been found. He has been charged with 24 counts of animal abandonment.

His wife, Tammy Staley, 33, who owns Northern Puppies, is charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty in connection with her pet-store operation.

After at least one adjournment for each of them, the Staleys both have Plattsburgh City Court appearances scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19.

Police say Mr. Staley admitted to dumping the 24 puppies in area woods and said he did it to avoid veterinarian bills since the animals were sick.

After his arrest on Aug. 7, he was arraigned and posted $15,000 cash bail.


A pet-dealer inspection report by two New York State Agriculture and Markets inspectors had described poor conditions at Northern Puppies before the Staleys’ arrests.

The inspectors rated the store in “non-compliant/critical condition” after the unannounced inspection they conducted with City Police on July 2. Police seized 16 sick cats that day.

In the isolation room in the back of the shop, inspectors found kittens “with large clumps of dried feces matted to and hanging from fur around the anal area and tails,” the report says.

Among the violations listed were: inadequate space; insufficient ventilation, with odors present; no proof of rabies vaccinations; no record of medications prescribed from a vet being administered to the animals; and no proof of vet care being given to the one kitten that was found dead in a cage next to a cat with a litter of four kittens.

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