Finally, after almost two years of being tied up in court, the way has been cleared for 28 German shepherds to be put up for adoption. Originally, the dogs were seized as part of an animal cruelty case against 50-year-old Jennifer Choate of New Hampshire. Taken in by the New Hampshire SPCA (NHSPCA), the dogs were considered evidence in the animal cruelty case against Choate.
The tragedy that started it all
Initially, Choate had gained attention from the death of 36 German shepherds in two separate fires three weeks apart. Two weeks later the 28 German shepherds currently in NHSPCA custody were found in an Alexandria, N.H. barn with no heat or fresh water.
The neglected dogs were transported to the NHSPCA where they have been for the last 22 months. As a part of her plea agreement, Choate released the dogs into the care of the NHSPCA freeing them up for adoption. Choate also cannot breed dogs for five years in the state.
Making a plea deal, Choate pleaded nolo contendere, which means she accepted the animal cruelty conviction without having to admit guilt. She also avoided paying $600,000 in restitution for the care of the dogs as a part of the deal.
According to Choate’s attorney, “Although she maintains her innocence regarding the criminal accusations, she has agreed to resolve both the criminal cases that the NHSPCA brought against her.”
NHSPCA SOS funds are drained
In the process of caring for the large number of dogs seized, the NHSPCA SOS fund was drained. The organization is currently looking to replenish the funds. If you are interested in donating, you can visit the organization’s Website at NHSPCA.org, by phone at 603-772-2921 (ext. 106), or by mail at New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885. All donations are tax-deductible.
Getting the dogs ready for adoption
Of course, all of the dogs have to be gotten ready for adoption. This includes having them spayed and neutered, among other preparations. This is expected to increase the costs of the care for the dogs, which has to date been the NHSPCA’s most expensive case. If you are interested in adopting one of the German shepherds, visit the NHSPCA Website.
What to do if you notice signs of animal neglect or abuse
If you find animals that are being abused or neglected, you should report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately. Also, there are some other steps that you can take to ensure that the animal abuse or neglect is documented correctly. Start by writing a concise, factual statement with the date, location, time, and type of abuse.
If possible, document the abuse by taking pictures, making sure to date them. If there are other witnesses to the abuse, get a statement from them, as well as their name and a way to contact them if further questions need to be asked.
By keeping track of what happened, when it happened, and where it took place, you can help the local police or SPCA when they decide to bring a case against the offending pet owner. You never know, your actions could make the difference between saving an animal’s life or allowing them to be subjected to further abuse. Here is a video with more on this heartbreaking case.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.