The Summit corgi case, which began in March when police said 69-year-old Bonnie Morris left a dozen dogs in her Main Street home without food or water for four days, ended Thursday when Ms. Morris pleaded guilty in Summit Town Court.
Ms. Morris, who is now living in Schenectady, was fined $250 and ordered not to have pets again.
Ms. Morris’ husband died at home on March 10 of natural causes.
As part of the investigation that followed, State Police and the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office found the couple was living without running water, heat or electricity.
They also found dog feces inches deep on the floor and black mold on the walls.
Care of the dogs, which included a German shepherd and corgis ranging from about six months to 13 years old as well as puppies born at the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley, where the dogs were moved after being seized, after the dogs were seized, cost the ASSV an estimated $10,000.
“It’s frustrating,” said ASSV Director Kerri Colin. “It was a bad situation all around. The legislation needs to change so these kinds of things don’t keep happening.”
Ms. Colin said she doesn’t fault anyone involved in the case—not the judge, not the district attorney’s office; their hands are tied, she said.
“At first I was angry,” she said, but when Mike [attorney Mike West and ASSV member] explained to us that that was the best anyone could do, we all understood.”
All along, Ms. Colin said, there was as much concern for Ms. Morris as for the dogs because of the conditions the Morrises were living in and she said she wishes the sentence could have included some sort of mental health order.
“And some sort of follow-up,” she said. “She’s living in Schenectady now. Who’s going to make sure she doesn’t get more dogs? There are too many loopholes and we don’t have the laws we need in place.”
All of the corgis—the puppies did not survive—have been adopted.
Now, the shelter is running up bills for Milly, the daschund dropped near Oak Hill two weeks ago.
Milly is doing well and gaining weight, Ms. Colin said, and scheduled for dental surgery, likely to be costly, this week.
She’s still being treated for a skin infection and possibly food allergies, but is quickly warming up to people, Ms. Colin said.
It will likely be another month or two before Milly is ready to be adopted, she said; the cost of her care will likely total $1,000-$2,000.