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Arrest made in Shih Tzus rescue case

FLORIDA — State Police arrested a woman on Thursday in connection with 14 Shih Tzu dogs that were rescued after they were found to be living in deplorable conditions earlier this week.

Troopers charged Elizabeth A. Dolder, 46, of Duanesburg on Thursday, with 14 counts of failing to provide proper sustenance, a class A misdemeanor, according to a news release.

Police responded to a home in the town of Florida to check the welfare of a number of dogs that were on the property after an anonymous call was made to the state police concerning alleged animal cruelty and neglect at an abandoned residence in the town. Upon arriving, troopers located 14 dogs, none of which had proper access to food and water, and were living in poor conditions, according to the release.

Troopers made contact with Dolder, the owner of the 14 Shih Tzus — which included five adults and nine puppies. Dolder agreed to turn the animals over to the Montgomery County Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Wednesday, where they are now being kept safe at the shelter in Amsterdam.

Dolder then turned herself in at the state police barracks in Fonda, where she was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Florida Town Court on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

Jan Zumbolo, president of MCSPCA Board of Directors said the home the dogs were found in had feces and urine everywhere and that the dogs showed signs of being extremely hungry.

She said the five adult dogs’ fur was “severely matted” and had to be shaved. The nine puppies were also matted and were combed.

Zumbolo on Thursday said the rescued dogs had not yet been seen by a veterinarian, and was unsure if any of them have injuries or health concerns.

To help cover the cost of vet and medication fees, the organization is asking for monetary donations.

Zumbolo said they have enough food and grooming supplies, but need money for vet and medication costs.

Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by going to the shelter’s website at mc-scpa.org and make the donation using PayPal or by mailing a donation to MCSPCA, P.O. Box 484, Amsterdam, NY 12010.

All 14 dogs will eventually be put up for adoption once they are settled, Zumbolo said.

She said they have already received about 70 inquiries.

“We ask people to be patient,” Zumbolo said. “Our focus is on their health and comfort.”

She said they will probably be available for adoption within two weeks, but it also depends on when they get in to the vet. She said they are also not yet available for public viewing.

Anyone interested in adopting can also download an application at the MCSPCA’s website.

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