Authorities: Dogs had no heat, water

MINDEN – More than 50 dogs found in a barn in town with no heat and frozen water suffered from several illnesses, claiming the life of one of the dogs, authorities said.

A search warrant was executed at the barn Wednesday night at 7145 Route 5S, and authorities were on the scene Thursday.

A news release from state police said dogs and puppies found in the barn suffered from frosbite, open sores and worms.

On Thursday, state police spokesman Mark Cepiel said complaints regarding the animals were filed with the Fort Plain Village Police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities reported the dogs, mostly pitbulls, lacked water and were laying in fecal matter.

“This removal was a herculean effort given the number of canines and the numerous shelters and agencies which had to be contacted and coordinated for assistance in housing these animals on a temporary basis along with a veterinarian check of each dog prior to being removed from the premises,” the news release said.

Officials at the scene set up heaters within the barn until the last animals were removed.

Cepiel said the frigid temperatures contributed in the decision to remove the dogs because the barn’s windows were not intact.

“Weather conditions played a factor, but I don’t know them all yet,” he said Friday morning.

At 1 p.m. Thursday, dogs could be heard barking in the barn.

As of 9 p.m. Thursday, all of the dogs were removed from the property and taken to a local shelter, Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeffery Smith said Friday.

Authorities on Friday reported no criminal charges.

“We are still sorting out who is responsible,” Cepiel said Thursday.

The barn is across the street from a farmhouse.

The occupants were unavailable for comment.

Arthur Cleveland covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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