Bad To The Bone

A Busti resident pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 to animal cruelty following an investigation by the Chautauqua County Humane Society.

Maureen Ryan, of Busti, when faced with 31 counts of animal cruelty, accepted a guilty plea to a single count of animal cruelty. As a result, Ryan was ordered to surrender 26 collies to the Chautauqua County Humane Society and has been prohibited from breeding any animals for a one-year period. Ryan also consented to allow six unannounced inspections at her residence by the Lakewood-Busti Police over a one-year period. These inspections will be used to confirm that proper conditions and sustenance are being provided to the five dogs that were returned to her possession following the plea agreement. She is also prohibited from acquiring any additional animals for one year.

Ryan’s residence was visited by a Chautauqua County Humane Society humane investigator in December following complaints that numerous dogs were being housed there in poor conditions. As a result of the visit, Ryan elected to surrender four of the animals to the Chautauqua County Humane Society. A medical exam revealed that they were all underweight and suffering from other medical concerns. Based on this evidence a search warrant was issued to seize the remaining 31 dogs that were housed in cages in the basement of Ryan’s residence.

“We’ve had the collies since Dec. 20th, so they’ve gained weight, in fact a couple of the dogs had gained as much as 14 pounds,” said Jeff Lubi, Chautauqua County Humane Society executive director. “There was nothing really wrong medically, but there was a lot of grooming that was required. They were matted in feces and urine, but they’re doing fine now. They were great dogs so it’s time to develop matches with some loving homes.”

The collies have been cleared for general adoption and can be found at the Strunk Road Adoption Center, which is open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday from 2-6 p.m.