‘Beyond Deplorable Conditions’ Inside Dog Rescue Warehouse Brings Utica Mayor to Tears
What's happening with the dozens of dogs inside a warehouse on Broad Street in Utica? That's what the Mayor, Police Chief, Animal Control and the District Attorney wants to know.
I stopped by to see for myself what was going on inside the warehouse. While I was there Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri, Utica Chief of Police Mark Williams, Deputy Chief Edward Noonan, Animal Control and buildings code enforcement also made a visit. We toured the warehouse together, seeing conditions that made appalled everyone.
The animal rescue came under fire after video surfaced of more than 100 dogs living in inhumane conditions. Road to Home Rescue founder Elyse Giurco says Kim Strong, who ran the shelter, "left Friday and never came back. We've been working to clean the warehouse ever since and are trying to place the 59 dogs that remain in a safe environment. We won't leave until these dogs get what they need," Giurco told Utica officials.
Volunteers could be seen cleaning the building and numerous cages that were covered in urine and feces as we walked through. But the smell overpowered any cleaning agent used.
Palmieri says his office is working closely with the codes department, Utica Police and the District Attorney in the ongoing investigation into what he called "beyond deplorable conditions" that brought him to tears. And he wasn't alone.
"No animal should have to live like this," Utica Chief of Police Mark Williams said after walking out of the warehouse. And he's RIGHT!
Palmieri, who is an avid dog lover, had to compose himself before talking to me about what he saw. "It's mind boggling that a person who portrayed herself as caring for animals like Kim Strong is even allowed to be around them."
Officials from the District Attorney's Office are expected to visit the facility as well to take video of the conditions for their investigation.
I don't know all the details of this dog 'rescue,' or how they operate, but I do know NO ANIMAL should have to live helpless, in cages too small they can barely move, covered in their own urine and feces. It's heartbreaking and I pray these dogs get moved to places where they are cared for and loved, or at the very least, treated humanely.
If you want to help these animals, you can donate food, fleece blankets, laundry soap or volunteer to help clean up the warehouse and walk the dogs at 809 Broad Street in Utica.
Call Elyse Giurco at 516-236-4376 for more details on volunteering or adopting these dogs.