The "Naples 85" remain at the Ontario County Humane Society shelter as the animal cruelty case continues

The 85 dogs seized from a Naples home remain at the Ontario County Humane Society while the animal cruelty case plays out. It could take months to settle the criminal case, though “obviously we are seeking forfeiture of the animals,” said Ontario County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Taylor. He was at the shelter on Monday during a visit by state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua.

Forfeiture would give legal custody of the dogs to the Humane Society. The shelter cannot put the dogs up for adoption until the Ontario County Humane Society obtains legal custody. But in the meantime, the dogs can be placed in foster care. Shelter Manager Dianne Faas said Monday about 25 of the terriers rescued from the Lawyer Road residence will soon be ready to enter foster homes. The Humane Society has received more than 200 applications from people wanting to adopt or foster the dogs, she said.

The Naples pair arrested in late July on multiple counts of animal cruelty pleaded not guilty last Thursday in Naples Town Court. Richard A. Justice, 65, and Jane W. Justice, 70, are scheduled to be back in town court on Sept. 26. Taylor said the not guilty plea is typical in a criminal case and the attorneys for the accused are doing their part to represent their clients.

“The good things are — the dogs are safe, and the Humane Society is doing a fantastic job keeping them safe and fundraising to pay for their care,” Taylor said.

The Humane Society needs to reach a fundraising goal of $125,000 to cover three months of treating the 85 dogs. A county resolution dictates a shelter charge of $15 per day per dog, which comes to $1,275 per day for the Naples 85. Helming toured the shelter and offered to help with grants and other support. Even before the Humane Society seized the Naples 85, it was in need of a larger shelter and other improvements.

The Humane Society warned the community to beware of scams. The shelter reported there were fraudulent calls this past weekend from someone claiming to solicit donations for the Naples 85 over the phone.

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