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Troy couple charged with 17 counts of animal abuse

February 16, 2019 10:54 AM

TROY - Only NewsChannel 13's camera was rolling after a Troy couple was charged with 17 counts each of animal abuse. 

David and Michelle Hempstead turned themselves in to Troy police on Friday morning -- and shortly after, went before a judge at City Court next door.

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Police say the animal abuse charges against the pair -- of 92 Campbell Avenue in Troy, stem from a lengthy investigation into an animal hoarding case that began last year.

Charges indicate the couple failed to care for and feed more than a dozen animals.

NewsChannel 13's camera was the only one rolling as the couple walked out of City Court shortly after 10 a.m.  Neither had a comment, and Michelle Hempstead appeared to swing her court documents at our NewsChannel 13 photographer.

Both are facing 17 misdemeanor counts of torturing or injuring a variety of animals including cats and dogs, which court records indicate were kept in squalid conditions of feces and urine.

The paperwork shows the animals had diseases and other health conditions.

Michelle Hempstead is also facing two counts of selling or offering to sell or exposing a diseased animal involving a sick dachshund and underweight sphynx kitten -- according to court papers.

You may remember NewsChannel 13 was there in mid-December when Troy police and animal control rescued dozens of animals from the couple's Campbell Avenue home before they were taken to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society to be nursed back to health and adopted out into loving homes. 

Authorities then said the hoarded animals were living in cramped, filthy conditions and had limited interaction with people.

Both defendants were released on probation supervision.

Valerie Lang Waldin, Vice President of Responsible Anmial Care USA, responded saying, 

The Hempsteads should be charged with several counts of New York State's aggravated animal cruelty law, also known as Buster's Law. The facts of this case are clear: these indviduals knowlingly allowed dozens of companion animals in their care to die or become seriously injured, over the course of months if not, years. Their condict constitutes "depraved omission" of care, and clearly falls under the felony animal cruelty law. Anyone who can walk by numerous dead or dying animals and not act is behaving in a depraved manner. Some animals had to have their eyes removed, or were found dead on top of live animals. A recent Orange County case of horse starvation resulted in numerous felony animal cruelty convictions, thus there is a legal precedent supporting felony charges. Moreover, the Hempsteads were also breeders, thus represented themselves as knowledgeable about animal care. This case needs to be presented to a Grand Jury with the option of felony cruelty indictments based on the facts and New York's felony animal cruelty statute.


Charges for both Randall and Michelle Hempstead:

Count 1: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a dog with dental disease, severe matting of fur which caused sores, scarring from a suspected inbedded collar, an old untreated leg fracture which caused lameness and failed to provide any apparent medical care for his condition.

Count 2: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a four year old Yorkshire terrier with keratoconjunctivitis in both eyes, severe dental disease, fleas, and excessively matted fur and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.

Count 3: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed an approximately six year old Yorkshire terrier with a left cryptorchid, flea infestation, severe hair coat matting with urine staining, moderate dental tartar and thin body condition and failed to provide any apparent medical care for his condition.

Count 4: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a dog with dental disease, alopecia and a flea infestation and failed to provide any apparent medical care for his condition.”

Count 5: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed an 8-year-old Yorkshire terrier with severe, chronic bilateral otitis external, mammary tumors, flea infestation with secondary hair loss, overgrown nails, severe dental disease and a thin body condition and failed to provide any medical care for his condition.”

Count 6: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a four year old Pomeranian mix with dental disease, missing incisors, a mammary tumor, locating patellar and matted hair and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.”

Count 7: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine 10-year-old Yorkshire terrier with mature cataracts, severe dental disease, retained right upper canine deciduous tooth, matted hair coat, fleas, overgrown nails and otitis external in both ears and failed to provide any medical care for her condition.”

Count 8: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed an approximately 8-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix with dental disease, prolonged recovers from anesthesia and bradycardia which can be an underlying indicator of an underlying metabolic disease or organ dysfunction and failed to provide any medical care for his condition.”

Count 9: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed an approximately 8-year-old Lhasa Apso with severe dental disease, otitis externa, severely matted hair coat soaked with urine, feces and fleas and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.”

Count 10: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed an 8-year-old Lhasa Apso

With malocclusion, severe dental disease, fleas, a necrotic, infected left front dew claw and matted hair coat and failed to provide any medical care for her condition.”

Count 11: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a dog with dental disease, chronic dermatitis of the skin and ears which led to stenotic ear canals and failed to provide any medical care for her condition.

Count 12: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a four and a half month old domestic shorthair cat with a ruptured left eye with bloody discharge and failed to provide any apparent medical care for his condition.”

Count 13: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a dog with dental disease, chronic skin changes alopecia, allergies from parasitic infestations, and a mammary mass and failed to provide any medical care for her condition.”

Count 14: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier with a severely matted and spiked hair coat, otitis externa, severe dental disease, broken left lower canine tooth flea infestation, and flea allergy dermatitis and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.

Count 15: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a dog with dental disease, severe knee issues/stifles, and a mammary mass and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.”

Count 16: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular possessed a 2 month old domestic shorthair cat with severe ulcers of both eyes and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.”

Count 17: “The said defendant did keep numerous animals in squalid conditions of feces and urine and in particular a dog with severe dental diseased severe fur matting which covered the ears and led to severe ear infections, a sore under the chin, chronic otitis constant spinning likely from a lifetime in a cage and failed to provide any apparent medical care for her condition.”

Additional charges for Michelle Hempstead:

Michelle Hempstead two charges only: on 9/7/2018 and 9/28/2018. Charged with two counts: selling or offering to sell or exposing diseased animal, a violation of section 357 of the Agriculture and Markets law of NYS.

Count 1: The defendant did sell an extremely ill Daschund mix puppy to _______ which requires extensive medical treatment.

Count 2: the defendant did sell an extremely ill, underweight Sphynx kitten to ______ which required extensive medical treatment.

Credits

Jill Konopka

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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