Jul 28, 2014

Dog Found in 'Severe State of Neglect;' Owner Arrested

Overgrown nails pressing on the dog's paw pads caused a limp, according to veterinarians.

Dog Found in 'Severe State of Neglect;' Owner Arrested

A Kent woman is facing a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after officials came across a 5-year-old dog who was suffering from a skin condition, extremely overgrown nails, severe flea infestation and more, officials say.

Members of the Putnam County SPCA arrested 67-year-old Bridget A. Joyce, of Towners Road, according to a statement released Friday. 

A Town of Kent dog control officer found Taffy, an adult, female Pomeranian, "at large" on Towners Road in the Lake Carmel section of the town Sunday. The SPCA was contacted for assistance, and the animal was taken to the Carmel Animal Hospital. Physicians there said the dog was in a "severe state of neglect."

They discovered extensive alopecia, also known as hair loss, severe flea infestation and severe malodor. When officials removed the dog's harness, which was reportedly too tight, patches of fur came with it.

"The nails on its paws had overgrown to the point that they turned under and were pressing on the paw pads when it walked, causing one limb not to be used by the dog due to the pain of its weight on the paw," the SPCA said. "The dog’s skin showed severe seborrhea oleosa, a condition causing the skin to thicken and become scaly, oily and crusty. This results in an extremely uncomfortableand painful skin condition."

"The skin also showed extensive lichenification with deep fissures (a skin lesion that occurs in an area of chronic irritation, resulting in elephant-like skin). The dog also exhibited severe dental disease."

The findings prompted SPCA officials to treat the case as a criminal one.

"In New York State, animals are looked at as property," the SPCA told Patch. "In cases of abuse, the dog remains the property of the arrestee until the court proceedings decide whether it will be returned to Ms. Joyce or awarded to the Putnam SPCA  It is held in our custody and is comfortable at this time at a private shelter, still receiving veterinary treatment for the skin conditions."

Joyce is due Feb. 20 in Town of Kent Justice Court.

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