TaffyA Kent, NY woman, Bridget A. Joyce, 67, is coming under fire for the severe neglect of her 5-year-old Pomeranian and is being charged with animal cruelty.  Putnam County SPCA has stepped in and rescued the dog after she was “found in “a severe state of neglect” is being treated for a range of skin and infestation issues”

The small dog named Taffy was found wandering along Towners Road in the Lake Carmel area of Kent and taken to the Carmel Animal Hospital.  The was described to be suffering from “extreme long-term neglect” per Ken Ross, chief of the SPCA.

Taffy was wearing a harness that was so tight that when it was removed patches of fur fell from her body.  She has extensive hair loss, a severe flea infestation, her skin was thickened and had become scaly, oily and crusty with deep fissures   She also has severe dental disease and nails so overgrown that they were curled into her paw pads causing such pain in one limb that she avoided using it.

“A lot of times we don’t associate animal cruelty with neglect but under New York state law it is just that,” said Ross. “You have a responsibility when you own an animal. There is no ‘off’ switch — you can’t just say you aren’t going to take care of it anymore.”

Joyce will appear in court on February 20 on a misdemeanor charge of animal abuse.


Sadly, we see too many instances where neglect is not classified as abuse as it should be.  I get messages and emails almost daily from people pleading for help about a dog in distress but that animal control will do nothing.  The usual response is that as long as the dog as food, water and an adequate shelter, they can do nothing and that’s the truth.

Hundreds and thousands of dogs sit and languish with little to no contact or care because of the bare minimum requirement of the law and this is not going to change until the laws are changed and that’s not going to happen until people who care stand up, come together and lobby for changes.

If it’s that easy, why don’t people do it, you ask?  Unfortunately, although the theory is simply, actual implementation is quite a bit more difficult.  You can ask Liz of the Nitro Foundation, who has been working for years to try to get felony level animal cruelty laws in Ohio… But just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… They have only us to speak for them…

be my voice

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