Dog Warden seeks public's help regarding abandoned puppies

Photos courtesy of Compassionate Care Veterinary

(L-R) Snickers, a seven-and-a-half-month-old black lab mix and S'mores, a seven-and-a-half-month-old black and brown lab mix.

SMYRNA Three puppies were apparently left for dead in the Town of Smyrna-area in recent months, says Dog Control Officer (DCO) Matthew Bates, and it is his hope that the public can help him find answers to hold the appropriate people accountable.

According to Bates, one of the three dogs was dead on his arrival on June 26 apparently hit by a car and it took two days of live-trapping to catch the remaining two dogs to get them the medical help they needed. The two seven-and-a-half-month-old puppies, now named Snickers and S'mores, were taken to Compassionate Care Veterinary, PC in Norwich on June 28.

"Both of the surviving puppies are emaciated and have obviously been running at large for several months," said Valerie Culverwell, Practice Manager at Compassionate Care.

Culverwell says the puppies were treated for malnutrition and lack of care, and have since been transferred to Chenango SPCA (CSPCA) where they will further regain their strength. She says the puppies are currently being fed five-meals per day and are given limited exercise to help them regain their lost weight and muscle at CSPCA.

"Once they have achieved a good physical weight and are mentally no longer scared, they will be put on the adoption floor," says Annette Clarke, Executive Director of the CSPCA.

According to Bates and Culverwell, incidents of people leaving litters of puppies for dead are unfortunately not uncommon.

In the event that a dog is abandoned and requires medical care, Culverwell says Compassionate Care works closely with local Dog Control Officers and law enforcement to provide medical services at a discounted rate, but if the owner is not found, the town where the dog is located in this case the Town of Smyrna is held responsible for paying medical bills.

Bates, in conjunction with Compassionate Care, has established the "Angel Fund," which helps cover medical bills for local strays when an owner is not found. Culverwell says the fund is currently depleted in the wake of so many strays that have been brought in this year, but those who wish to donate to the fund may do so at M&T Bank in Norwich, Compassionate Care Veterinary in Norwich, or through DCO Matthew Bates.

Donations are also welcome to CSPCA, where Snickers and S'mores are being cared for.

Bates says that it is his hope that the public might be able to point him in the right direction of the puppies' former owners so that they can be held responsible for the medical bills.

"It's entirely confidential," Bates said. "Anyone with any information can reach out to me."

If you are able to provide information of use to DCO Bates or if you would like to donate to the "Angel Fund," call Bates at (607) 244-8363.

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