Dog Fighting Suspected
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
SIDNEY – Erin Insinga, shelter director, Delaware Valley Humane Society, described the scene of a rescue in Franklin as “like something out of a horror film.”
“I have never seen animals in such conditions of pain, torture and neglect,” she said through tears. “These dogs were stacked like pieces of furniture in a dark room.”
Cages were soaked with vomit, urine and feces. 19 dogs – 17 pit bulls and two German shepherds, ranging from 9 weeks to six years old – were emaciated, dehydrated and covered with wounds old and new.
“Based on what we saw and what our veterinarians said in their exams, we believe these animals were the victims of dog fighting,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA.
With limited shelter space at the shelter in Sidney, Haynes and Karen Matson, executive director, Broome County Humane Society, volunteered to take some of the dogs back to their shelters. “I took six dogs,” she said. “It was really something, seeing three shelters come together to help out with this horrific case.”
One of the dogs Haynes brought back to the shelter had a staple in her nose. “At some point, her nose was ripped off,” she said. “They stapled it back on, and then the skin started to grow around the staple.”
Insinga was alerted by a concerned citizen in January, and immediately notified the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department. “Last night I was coming from my daughter’s basketball game and I got the call that they were seizing the animals,” she said. “And when I got there, all these eyes were just looking at me. It will affect me for the rest of my life.”
The owner, who has not been named, did surrender the dogs to the Delaware County Humane Society, allowing the shelters to begin treating the animals. All the dogs are expected to survive, and once they are medically cleared, will be made available for fostering and adopting.
“They’re very sweet, but very scared,” said Haynes. “Their tails were tucked, they didn’t want to come out of their crates.”
“These dogs have suffered so much, but they are so forgiving,” said Insinga. “When you touch them, their tails start wagging. All they want to do is have that human contact.”
The case remains under investigation.
“We’re not going to let this go,” said Insinga. “We’re going to push for legal action and make sure that everyone knows that there is never excuse for neglect like this.”