OXFORD – Seventy-six Pomeranians were rescued from a property in Oxford on Sunday in a coordinated effort by the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department and the Chenango County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Their owner was taken into custody the following day.
At the behest of deputies, SPCA Executive Director Carol Hedlund led a team of SPCA board members and staff into the house at 145 Williams Road in Oxford to retrieve the animals. She described the conditions they found as “horrific.”
Hedlund, who has been involved with a dozen similar seizures including a puppy mill bust in Chenango County earlier this year, ranked it as one of the worst she has seen.
“Everything in the house was covered in feces. We had to wear respirator masks to go get the dogs,” said Hedlund. Those who entered the house also used mentholated rub under their noses to mask the strong odor of fecal matter and urine. Duct tape secured pant legs and boots.
The double-wide trailer was unoccupied with the exception of the dogs. Hedlund reported that bags of food had been torn open and left for the animals. The contents, which were still being consumed by the dogs, had been defecated and urinated upon.
The dogs, which are considered evidence in the case against their owner, were taken to the SPCA where they will remain for the time being.