Donations for the dogs reached $70,532 of a $125,000 goal
The Ontario County Humane Society says the outcome of the court hearing Thursday will affect how soon the 85 dogs seized from a Naples residence can be placed in foster homes and adopted.
The Ontario County Humane Society urges the public to attend the hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Naples Town Court. The court is at 106 S. Main St. in the village.
“Our hope is for the dogs’ legal owners to turn the dogs over to the Ontario County Humane Society,” said Ontario County Humane Society Shelter Manager Diane Faas. “The sooner we have them legally in our custody, the sooner we can get them fostered and adopted into loving homes.”
The dogs' owners — Richard A. Justice, 65, and Jane W. Justice, 70 — were arrested in late July after the Humane Society found 73 dogs at their residence on Lawyer Road in Naples. The pair were initially charged with 73 counts of cruelty to an animal, as well as 73 counts of failure to provide food and water to an impounded animal. The Humane Society later seized more dogs during its follow-up investigation, bringing the number of dogs rescued in the case to 85.
The Naples Code Enforcement Office deemed the residence unsafe and uninhabitable. The Ontario County Office of Emergency Management needed Tyvek suits and breathing equipment to help with the rescue due to the unsanitary conditions found in the house.
The Humane Society launched a fundraising campaign to help it meet the costs of caring for the dogs. Donations reached $70,532 on Wednesday, with a goal of raising $125,000.
The dogs are all Cairn and Yorkshire terriers ranging from 4 months to 6 years old.
Each day continues to be a miracle for the Naples 85, which were in the fight of their lives when rescued Aug. 1 by the Humane Society. So much sopport came in that the shelter had to put out a call for volunteers to help store donated food and supplies.
The Humane Society is overwhelmed by the donations of cash, goods and labor from the community.
“We can’t express how grateful we are,” said Faas. “Each day, we face different challenges based on the level of care required for each of the dogs. We’re making progress, but we’re definitely still in the critical steps of Phase One.”
Adoption and foster care for the dogs is the next phase in the process. Anyone interested in adopting or fostering can complete an application online.
The Ontario County Humane Society calculated it will cost $125,000 for three months to continue treating the 85 dogs: $15 a day per dog x 85 dogs x 90 days = $114,750 plus additional dollars for boarding, feeding, veterinarian and other services. This is an ongoing legal matter and the dogs cannot be released for adoption until deemed by the court, which could take up to eight months.
Another way to help immediately is to adopt the other animals in the shelter to make room for the Naples 85.
For more information on the Naples 85, to donate, or register to adopt or foster, visit ontariocountyhumanesociety.org