Tammy Staley owns the Northern Puppies Pet Store in Plattsburgh. After facing financial struggles, her husband, Michael Staley, told WCAX News he staged a burglary to get rid of 24 puppies without his wife's knowledge. He says they could no longer afford the animals due to high vet bills. The dogs range in age from 8 weeks to 6 months.
Plattsburgh City Police Cpl. Sean LaDieu said, "The owner opened up the business early in the morning and once she got inside, she found that someone had jimmied the back door, went inside, took an unknown amount of cash, and stolen numerous puppies."
So far police have located dogs in Macomb State Park and Dannemora. Michael Staley says he hoped someone in the area would find the dogs.
"We received a call from a family reporting they had found a German Shepard in the woods in the Peasleeville area," LaDieu said. "Their family went out and ended up locating another German shepherd. We brought those dogs back here and tracked them to the stolen dogs from Northern Puppies Pet Store."
So far police have found 13 of the 24 puppies. Michael Staley says he assisted police with locating five of those dogs.
This isn't the family's first brush with the law. Last month, Tammy Staley was charged with animal cruelty after more than a dozen kittens were found mistreated. Her husband says those charges prevented them from selling the puppies.
Speaking with the couple, they say they regret dropping the dogs of, but they were left with the option of feeding the dogs, which was $20 a day per dog, or feeding their family. Police are now asking for the public's help with recovering all of the puppies. The Staleys say the dogs were treated for various illnesses before they were abandoned, but police say the dogs are still at risk and without medical treatment it is possible that they could die.
The puppies have been exposed to Coccidia, Ring Worm and Parvo. The dogs that have been found are now being treated at the Eagle's Nest Veterinary Clinic. Criminal charges are pending. The Staleys say it is unclear if they will continue to operate their pet store.
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