PLATTSBURGH — For Tammy and Michael Staley, the past five weeks have been a nightmare as they have struggled to deal with charges of animal cruelty and abandonment.
They want an outraged public to know that there is more to the story.
“I understand the public reaction, but if they had any idea of what we’ve been going through, they would think differently,” Mrs. Staley, 33, said in an interview with the Press-Republican on Monday.
She explained that the situation began when she was charged July 9 with 20 counts of cruelty to animals after an unannounced inspection at her pet store, Northern Puppies in Plattsburgh Plaza.
The morning employee, Mrs. Staley said, had not had time to feed the kittens and clean up after them and dispose of one that had died overnight before the inspectors came in.
“They came in first thing in the morning, and if she (employee) had about 20 more minutes, the kittens would have been fed and cleaned and the dead one would have been dealt with, and none of this would have happened,” she said.
“They always tell you deal with the well animals first before the sick ones, and that’s what she did.”
As a result of the violations, Mrs. Staley’s license to sell kittens and puppies was suspended. She said she was also told that she could not give away the 24 remaining puppies or give them to the SPCA.
That meant she had to take care of them until her case was resolved, but her next court date is not until Aug. 22.
Mrs. Staley said she did her best to care for the puppies since her arrest and spent about $3,000 in veterinarian bills.
In the meantime, her business suffered because of the negative publicity the store received along with the charges against her.