Posted at: 10/08/2012 12:39 AM
| Updated at: 10/08/2012 10:40 AM
By: Dan Levy
ARGYLE - What would you do if you suspected one of your neighbors was abusing animals? After residents of a Washington County mobile home park say authorities weren't doing enough, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
No one has been arrested or charged. So WNYT is not identifying the alleged abuser. Also the neighbors -- fearing retaliation -- requested that their identities be protected.
Inside a large white trailer, now up on wheels and ready to be hauled off the property, neighbors say dogs have been yapping up a storm all summer long.
On Saturday afternoon, a white pit bull puppy was pulled out. His gray litter mate was rescued on Sunday morning. Both of them were found, according to neighbors, not just in deplorable living conditions, but inside a carefully sealed shower stall.
"She duct-taped the shower door shut with the dogs in there with no food, no water, and no electricity," said the man now caring for one of the puppies. "It was just horrible conditions up there. The house is filled with feces. As soon as you open the front door, the smell is overwhelming."
Neighbors insist they only acted after officials decided not to go in. Washington County Animal Control Officer Ed Holland told NewsChannel 13 he has no legal authority to enter a private residence. He also says a sheriff's deputy called to the park on Saturday decided not to go inside.
Neighbors say it's not the first time they've taken animals from the home and given them to adoptive families.
"Some people came and just took puppies," said one neighbor. "I personally got homes for a bunch of the kittens that were running around and not being fed."
The woman says if the pet owner realized the animals were missing, she never said anything or else "she just didn't care."
Another neighbor says she spotted four puppies and three kittens stuffed together inside a tiny bird cage in the backyard. But the disturbing thing about that story is what the alleged abuser said.
"When my daughter questioned her about it, her response was, 'I'm sick of (the animals)' and she was going to snap the necks on the kittens and throw the dogs out the windows when she drove down the road," the neighbor said.
That's why the person now caring for the rescued puppies considers his actions a preemptive life-saving necessity.
"I'll do all I can for her not to get them back," the man said.
Neighbors say the alleged abuser hasn't lived there in "quite a while," leaving the animals behind. They say they expect the trailer to be moved off the property in a matter of days and they have no idea where the woman is living now.
However, they also suspect she has at least one dog left -- the mother of the puppies.
As of midnight Sunday, WNYT had received no return call from the Washington County Sheriff's Department seeking comment.
Holland says he believes the person who took the dogs is covered under the Good Samaritan Act.
However, area attorney Arnold Proskin says he's doesn't think so. Proskin also said, as a former district attorney, he would not have prosecuted the case, given the circumstances that the neighbor apparently had good intentions.