A controversial local animal advocate has died.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara confirmed Kim Strong's death to WIBX. He said Strong had taken her own life.

Strong was known as an outspoken advocate for animal rights, with stunts that included sleeping outside in freezing temperatures and walking miles in chains to raise awareness about animal abuse.

But, Strong herself was recently under fire amid an investigation into a shelter she ran on Broad Street in East Utica. That investigation was prompted by community backlash when more than 100 dogs were found living in filthy cages.

Ultimately, all of the dogs under her care were relocated to shelter's in other communities. Strong was recently charged with felony counts of grand larceny and scheme to defraud, along with tax related charges for not collecting or remitting sales tax, and not paying income tax, McNamara said.


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