Updated 06/16/2012 01:40 PM
13 Chihuahuas found in Duanesburg storage locker
The SPCA rescued several animals found caged in a storage unit in Duanesburg. Friday afternoon, the owner of that unit was charged. Our Beth Croughan has been following this story and joined us from Schenectady with more.
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DUANESBURG, N.Y. – Lieutenant Matthew Johnson of the Schenectady County SPCA said, "We received a complaint from the property manager about the conditions, that people were complaining about the smell coming from the residence."
Friday, Schenectady County SPCA officers were let inside a Duanesberg trailer. It's where they say Catherine Wallace was living and where neighbors expressed concern about several animals.
But Wednesday, when SPCA officers originally followed up on phone calls, they weren't allowed in.
"It's suspected that the animals were moved Wednesday to the storage unit to avoid being found by a search warrant," Johnson said.
On a walk Thursday with his owner around Golden Self Storage, six-year-old Hud started sniffing. That's when Sean Golden says they heard the sound of other dogs barking and called police.
"The police has us open up the unit and there was crates in there with the little dogs in there, little Chihuahuas, a bunch of smaller dogs," said Sean Golden, owner of Golden Self Storage.
Chihuahuas were found inside the un-air conditioned unit in four separate crates. Lt. Johnson says they were sitting in their own waste and were without food and water.
Golden said, "We have dogs up here and we have pets at home. And it's really pretty sad to see that. And knowing that the units can get real hot, we were pretty worried."
SPCA officers believe Catherine's son, Michael, moved the dogs and charged him with 13 counts of impounding animals without food and water. They charged his mother with 20 counts of animal cruelty after six other dogs and a cat were found at the home.
Johnson said, "Where they lived now, it is unplorable? It probably is not safe for even human living."