STAR JOURNAL REPORT
UPDATE: A statement signed by “The IM21 team” on the group’s facebook page:
“Last night 39 dogs from our shelter were seized by the Oneida County Sheriffs Department due to accusations of neglect. While it is extremely unsettling that someone would accuse us of neglect, we would like to make it known that we rescue animals from high-kill shelters and undesirable circumstances because we believe every dog deserves the best quality of life possible. They do not always arrive to us in good condition. Over the past 4 years we have placed hundreds of dogs into loving homes, dogs who were minutes from being killed, aggressive dogs, dogs who were injured, sick, neglected, pregnant, abandoned and abused. Dogs nobody else wanted or would take. We sacrifice everything we have to make sure that our dogs are properly taken care of, and placed into good homes because each of their lives matter to us. We take every life and every adoption extremely seriously, and go the extra mile to make sure that they are going to a home that will provide them with the love and care they require and deserve. The dogs are all that matter to us, today is heart-breaking because these accusations have made many people doubt our mission and our dedication. We hope that our community will remember that there is much more to this story and we are extremely grateful for those who are standing by us and telling their stories of happiness, love, and support for our rescue.”
Oneida County Captain Terri Hook said the department has been trying without success to reach the founder of the organization. Hook said a determination on charging the involved parties in connection with animal neglect, which is a misdemeanor, will be made following the complete investigation.
11:15 a.m. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) and the Oneida County Humane Society have removed 39 dogs from the It Matters to One animal rescue in Sugar Camp. According to an OCSO press release, the removal of the dogs was in response to an investigation involving the Oneida County Humane Society, the Department of Agriculture and the Oneida County Health Department along with the Sheriff’s office.
During an inspection of the facility Feb. 6, dogs were found that needed medical attention. The dogs were also in need of food and water. All the dogs were removed so that they can be medically evaluated and treated if necessary.
Oneida County Captain Terri Hook said no one has been charged with a crime, but there could be charges filed as the investigation continues.
Past employees, volunteers, and citizens who have adopted or considered adopting had shared information about possible neglect to the dogs.
The Sheriff’s office stated that approximately three weeks ago, one dog that had been in the care of the shelter for a long period of time was removed from the shelter and treated for medical issues. The veterinarian caring for the dog reportedly issued a letter stating, in part, “It is my medical conclusion along with evidence as stated by diagnostic tests that this animal had to endure severe neglect for months.”
All of the dogs are in the custody of the Oneida County Humane Society. Due to the rapid influx of dogs, the Oneida County Humane Society is in need of dog food and blankets. The Oneida County Humane Society would also like to be contacted by anyone fostering dogs for the It Matters to One Animal Rescue. They can be reached at (715) 362-5992.