This little kitten is heading to a new home. And although being part of a family is exciting, the circumstances that landed him and his other furry friends at this animal hospital are unfortunate.
"It's an appalling situation. There's no excuses for pets to be kept in these kind of conditions," said Dr. Erik Eaglefeather of Eagle Nest Veterinary Hospital.
Wednesday, police arrested Tammy Staley, 33, for 20 counts of animal cruelty. Staley is the owner of Northern Puppies pet store in Plattsburgh and has a suspended license.
"This is my first experience in dealing with a pet dealership involving cruelty to animals. They are very well inspected through agriculture markets and have a high standard to maintain," Plattsburgh Police Lt. Scott Beebie said.
Officials say they found two dead kittens in the shop, along with several kittens in poor health. They say some cages were the wrong sizes and quarantined animals were housed with non-quarantined animals. Officials say they seized the two deceased kittens and waited on medical forms to move them forward in the investigation.
"With the new information, new inspections, there was ear mites, ringworm, indications of malnutrition. Some of the kittens were really young. Three of them passed away after we brought them to the hospital," Beebie said.
When I saw that the pet store was open, I went in to see if I could speak to one of the employees. They declined to comment and told us to leave the store. When I spoke to neighbors, they said they were shocked about the news and don't want to jump to any conclusions.
"This is an allegation; she has not been convicted. I don't want to say she's this terrible person," Beebie said.
Officials say on average, Plattsburgh police deal with four to five cases of criminal charges for animal abuse a year. But officials say that doesn't make their job any easier.
"If you were to equate an animal abuse case like a child case, you have an emotional attachment, especially those who are animal people. You can't help but feel bad for these poor things and there's an anger component, too," Beebie said.
Staley is scheduled to have her hearing with the Agriculture and Market Division of Animal Industry July 16 determining the status of her license. She's due in court to face the criminal charges July 25.