One of the 18 recovered puppies abandoned by Michael Staley and later turned in to the Eagle’s Nest Vetrinary Clinic in Plattsburgh. The German Shepherd mix was one of 24 dogs abandoned throughout Clinton County on Aug. 3 by Staley. Photo by Shawn Ryan
Plattsburgh police are asking the public to help in the search for 6 sick and abandoned puppies in Clinton County.
Police believe Michael Staley, husband of Northern Puppies Pet Store owner Tammy Staley, staged a burglary at the Northern Puppies store and abandoned 24 puppies around the Saranac area.
According to city police, Michael Staley admitted that he staged a burglary at the store, taking the puppies and then abandoning them in wooded areas around Clinton County to avoid paying costly veterinarian bills, because the dogs were sick.
According to a press release by Plattsburgh City Police, on Saturday morning, Aug. 3, an employee of Northern Puppies pet store, 11 Plattsburgh Plaza, reported the store had been burglarized.
When the employee arrived at the store she found the back door forced open. Money had been stolen from the cash register and shelving units had been knocked over. Twenty-four puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 months had been taken.
Later Saturday night, police learned a family who lives near Strackville Road in Peasleeville found a German Shepherd puppy in the woods. A few hours later members of that family and friends went searching in the same general area and found another German Shepherd puppy.
Police were able to identify the dogs as those that had been reported stolen from Northern Puppies.
Saturday night and Sunday police used All Terrain Vehicles and searched the woods in the Saranac, Peasleeville and Dannemora areas. Police located another puppy in the woods in the area of Collins Road and Pup Hill Road. Three more of the Northern Puppies dogs were found by residents in the area and turned into a local veterinarian and shelter.
Through the investigation, police determined the person responsible for the reported burglary and theft of the dogs was Michael Staley.
“He looked at it like it was just killing us (caring for the puppies). It was killing us,” said Staley’s wife, Tammy. “He dropped them off, four or five here, six here, but they were all next to homes.”
His plan, Tammy said, was that people would find the puppies and either take them in, or take them to a vet.
“He feels awful. He did dump them...purposely near homes so they would be found.”
Tammy Staley, the licensed owner of Northern Puppies pet store, was arrested on July 10 and charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty for not providing proper medical care to sick kittens and not providing adequate living space for two chow dogs. All of the cats and the two chow dogs were taken into police custody. At the time of her arrest, she was in possession of 30 different puppies. During the duration of the investigation, Chief Desmond Racicot of the Plattsburgh City Police said Tammy Staley was not allowed to sell the companion animals at her store but was required to maintain care of the dogs at the store.
Racicot said as of Monday night he was not sure what happened to the remaining six puppies.
City police continued searching Sunday evening and found six more puppies in the area of Macomb State Park in Peru. Police also learned another puppy had been found in Dannemora.
As of Aug. 5, 17 of the 24 puppies had been recovered.
Racicot said the police are asking for people to help find the puppies.
“Any dog found can only help the investigation, it is illegal to abandon a companion animal like a dog or cat,” Racicot said. “These animals are so small and can’t provide for themselves, we’re hoping the public can help.”
According to City Police the puppies had been exposed to a number of diseases like Coccidia, Ring Worm and Parvo. These are contagious illnesses to other animals. Dogs can also pass the fungal ring worm infection to people.
“We did have puppies with coccidia. They were all vet checked. They went on meds for 10 days. Thursday was their last dose,” said Tammy Staley. “They weren’t sick dogs that were dumped. Their meds were done.”
One puppy who had tested positive for Parvo and the three who had ringworm had also been treated, Staley said.
The dogs that have been found are currently being cared for at Eagle’s Nest Veterinary Clinic in Plattsburgh.
According to police, the puppies may be in one of these general areas: Macomb State Park and surroundings forests and the following roads in the Plattsburgh, Saranac and Redford areas: Norrisville Road, Davis Pond Road, Burnt Hill Road, Strackville Road, Collins Road, Cane Road, Pup Hill Road, Maggy Road, Soper Road, Ore Bed Road, and Kent Falls Road.
The seven remaining dogs consist of two Chihuahuas, two Chihuahua mixes, a corgi, and two Rottweiler mixes.
Anyone who locates one of the puppies should call city police at 563-3411.
At this time Racicot said no charges have been filed against Michael, though the investigation is continuing.
As of Wednesday morning Eagle’s Nest Vetrinary Clinic reported that another dog, a German Shepherd mix, had been located. They were unsure of where that puppy had been found.
Police are asking anyone who wants to make adoption inquiries or who wants to make a donation to help the animals to call the Plattsburgh city Police.