HUDSON, N.Y. -- The 39 dogs and a cat from Durham seized over the weekend are getting a second chance as they recover at the Columbia-Greene Humane Society in Hudson.
“They're resilient though, they're going to be back. Already you can see they've changed a lot with some food and water,” said Ron Perez, the Columbia-Greene Humane Society president.
The German shepherds range from just few days old to almost 10 years old. They will soon be ready for new friends in their new owners. Their old owner, Dawn Verdeschi, has now been charged with "failure to provide sustenance" after a raid of her home and another house Sunday.
According to the Greene County Sheriff's Department, more charges could be on the way for Verdeschi.
Police are also trying to find a co-owner of one of the properties, Christopher Cella, in order to question him in this case. Cella has an outstanding warrant from Rockland County Family Court. Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 518-943-3300.
One house was owned by Verdeschi and Cella, the other Verdeschi rented. The owner of the rented property reported the alleged abuse to police.
Perez, the president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, said, “The older dogs couldn’t stand up because the crate was too small. The bottoms were covered with 2-3 inches of waste.”
“In my recollection, this is one of the worst ones [cases of animal abuse] I've seen,” said Greene County Sheriff's Lt. Adam Brainard.
Monday the animals began receiving examinations from veterinarian Jerry Bilinski. While he noted they were malnourished, he also said the canines were much friendlier than he expected.
As for his prognosis, Bilinski said, “They'll be able to gain their weight back. There are some infections and so on, that I think with the appropriate antibiotics and treatment, we will be able to take care of it.”
Which means: “I would say probably within two days, we'll start placing these guys,” said Perez.
If you’re interested in adopting one of the animals, head to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society website and fill out the pre-application, which you can get to directly by clicking here. The adoption team will reach out to you.