MAYFIELD - A woman evicted from her Progress Road home where authorities earlier this week found three dead dogs and 34 live dogs was charged by Fulton County sheriff's deputies Friday with two misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail on each.
Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey said Friday that Tirzah R. Henry, 30, formerly of 395 Progress Road, was arrested at about 11 a.m. Friday. She was charged with two counts under the state Agriculture & Markets Law - one count of overdriving, torturing or injuring animals and one count of unlawful disposal of dead animals.
Henry was also charged with disorderly conduct, Lorey said.
Tirzah R. Henry, 30, formerly of 395 Progress Road, places one of her dogs into a car on Progress Road in the town of Mayfield on Tuesday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Lorey said Henry was initially held in lockup at the sheriff's station on Route 29 in Johnstown and then arraigned Friday afternoon on the charges in Mayfield Town Court before Justice John Papa.
County District Attorney Louise Sira said the state law counts are misdemeanors and punishable by up to a year in jail on each if convicted.
"I believe she's a [dog] breeder," Sira said. "But I haven't received all the investigative materials yet. She was breeding Rottweiler puppies."
Henry had recently been evicted from her Progress Road home, and on Tuesday, authorities found three dead dogs and 34 live dogs.
Town dog warden Jane Potts said Wednesday the woman continues to keep ownership of the surviving dogs after first bringing them to a groomer in Gloversville on Tuesday. Potts said the town cannot take the animals away from the woman because they still legally belong to her.
Lorey said the incident that led to Henry's arrest resulted when she came back to her former residence Friday.
"She was there creating a disturbance," the sheriff said.
Meanwhile, Lorey said the dogs are not in the custody of Henry, who is currently "homeless." He said the surviving dogs are now in the custody of a relative or friend of Henry.
"She wasn't willing to relinquish them to us," Lorey stated.
The owner of the Progress Road property, Joe Adamkoski, said Wednesday that he went into the house March 20 responding to the tenant's request to take a water sample and noticed 19 dog cages in the house.
He said he found two dead puppies Tuesday on the first floor and a dead adult dog in the basement that had maggots on it.
Adamkoski said he had "no idea it would be this bad," with a situation at the home that included a dead dog in the cellar and half-eaten puppies. He estimated $2,000 to $3,000 in damages to the house.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com