Veterinarians have discovered more proof of abuse, with one of the dogs left out in the freezing weather in Camden last month.As they were neutering Nemo, the second dog rescued after being chained outside a house on State Route 69, they discovered a bullet lodged inside him. That bullet's been removed.
Both Nemo and Angel are ready to be adopted out--they're already being 'fostered' at their forever home.
Former owner Donald Grass, who now lives in Westdale, is due in court on Wednesday on animal cruelty charges.It's not known, yet, if the additional evidence will mean more charges. ===================Update: Wednesday, March 2
The two dogs left out in the freezing cold in Camden last month are enjoying life in their new home. Michael Burth was so touched by the story he saw on CNY Central that he decided to foster the dogs and will eventually adopt them.
Meantime, veterinarians are very pleased and impressed by the improvements they've seen in Angel and Nemo's conditions. The vet hopes to try to save Angel's tail.
Burth introduced the two to his other dogs Tuesday and says they did very well together. He will pay for all of their medical bills. They have been cared for by the Rome Humane Society until now.
The dogs' former owner, Donald Grass, 37, of Westdale, is scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday. He is charged with animal cruelty. Grass told state police he split from his wife and left the dogs behind.
February 22nd afternoon update:
Two dogs left in the freezing cold in Camden earlier this month will soon have a new home.
Michael Burth first heard about their story on the networks of CNY Central, and said it took him just seconds to decide he needed to step up. Burth has volunteered to pay the medical bills for Angel and Nemo and adopt both dogs when they are healthy enough to leave the shelter. He said he'd never seen the dogs in person until Tuesday, before sitting down with me for an exclusive interview.
"They're nice dogs, they really are...they're really friendly, very playful...just happy to have attention," Burth said.
Angel has gained 11 pounds since she's been at the Rome Humane Society and eats just about anything she can get her mouth on. But her tail, which seems to always be wagging back and forth, is infected -- and three inches will need to be amputated. Burth doesn't know how much any of this will cost -- and told me it's irrelevant.
"It doesn't matter," he said, "Someone needs to step up and pay the bills."
Susan Grande, the Executive Director of the Rome Humane Society, calls Burth a hero and wishes others in the community would step up like him. Burth said he isn't a hero, but someone doing the right thing. The man who calls himself an animal lover is no stranger to abused animals. He told me he's rescued two dogs in the past and wishes he could find a home for all of them. He credits the Rome Humane Society for taking great care of Angel and Nemo.
The adoption process still isn't finalized just yet. Both dogs need to get vaccinated -- but can't do so until their health improves. The dogs' former owner, Donald Grass, also needs to go before a judge. The Rome Humane Society said the process should be complete in the next month or so.
To donate to the Rome Humane Society, as it continues fundraising efforts for a new shelter, click here.
February 22nd morning update:
CNY Central has an update on the two dogs left out in the cold in Camden earlier this month.
Susan Grande, Executive Director of the Rome Humane Society, spoke to CNY Central Tuesday and said that both dogs are being treated with antibiotics for respiratory infections. She also says that Angel may need part of her tail amputated because of the frostbite. Grande says the dogs can't leave the Humane Society until they get their rabies shots, and the rabies shots can't be given until the dogs are healthy enough.
Grande also confirmed that a man named Michael Burth, Sr. came forward recently to pay the medical expenses for both Angel and Nemo. She says Burth will adopt both dogs when they are well enough to leave the shelter.
Grande says she has contacted other people who donated money in response to the plight of Angel and Nemo that their money will help the shelter cope with some $300,000 in medical bills the shelter accrues annually to treat abandoned animals.
February 15 afternoon update:
The executive director of Rome's Humane Society says she's learned that one of the dogs rescued from Camden was being used to produce puppies in order to sell. Susan Grande says Angel, rescued last Friday, had had three litters of puppies. The AKC registered yellow lab is just three years old.
'Hi. Our names are Angel and Nemo,' reads the sign outside the dogs' pen. Our owners left us for dead.'
37-year-old Donald Grass, who now lives in Westdale, near Camden, is charged with animal cruelty. He's told state troopers he broke up with his wife and moved out, leaving the dogs behind.Grande says "it's gonna be a long haul" before Angel and Nemo, who was chained outside the empty home with no food, are well enough to be adopted. Nemo has a respiratory infection. Both are frostbitten, and vets are working hard to save Angel's tail. Both are on special diets because they were near starvation and dehydration.
Grande says both are so weak they cannot even have rabies and other precautionary immunizations until they're stronger.
Grande says donations are starting to come in (and are welcome) to the Rome Humane Society's sick animal fund .
She says the shelter is at full capacity, and some animals, especially cats are even fostered out to make room for the more needy at the no-kill shelter. A new, bigger and more visible shelter on Charles Street at Erie Boulevard in Rome is in the works.
Fundraising is also in the works for the new building, and they hope to clear the land this coming spring.February 15 morning update: Two dogs are recovering at a Central New York animal shelter after apparently being abandoned at an empty home on State Route 69 in Camden. Now the man who was living in that house has been charged with animal cruelty. State Police say 37-year-old Donald Grass, who now lives on State Route 13 in Westdale, was arrested after the two dogs were discovered by a passing Verizon worker. One of the dogs, Angel, was able to break free and the worker called 9-1-1 for help. The second dog, Nemo, was more aggressive and dog control had to pick him up. Grass is charged with animal cruelty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court next month. Susan Grande of the Rome Humane Society says both dogs are now recovering, though one apparently has a respiratory infection. Both were extremely thin and suffering from frostbite when they were rescued. Grande expects both Angel and Nemo will be adopted, but after the charges against Crass are settled and the dogs are on the road to recovery. Grass is scheduled to reappear in Camden Town Court on March 9.
Original story from Friday, February 11:
There is word of another case of animal neglect or cruelty in Central New York.
The Rome Humane Society on Lamphear Road has received a yellow Labrador Retriever, who is suffering from frostbite and starvation. "She also has some pressure sore areas on her as well as some frostbite on her side. She's definitely been out in the cold, and she looks pathetically starving," said Rome Humane Society Executive Director Sue Grande. The staff has named her "Angel."
Volunteers at the shelter say Angel looks like she's down to skin and bones, you can even see her rib cage. And her tail, which always seems to be wagging, is bandaged because it's so badly frostbitten.
The dog was found in poor condition by a telephone repairman Friday afternoon near a home on State Route 69 in Camden. State Police are now investigating. Troopers say the house is abandoned, and there was also a second dog left outside that home. The owner did not want to talk to CNY Central, but police say he is cooperating with the investigation. He could face charges of animal cruelty or neglect in the coming days.
"He said he recently broke up with his wife, and the dogs were left," said Trooper John Strickler. "He was telling me he was going back and feeding them, through our investigation we'll find out."
Temperatures in Camden were 10 to 15 degrees below zero Friday morning . The Humane Society says it hopes to find Angel a warm and loving home.
The Rome Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, and is always looking for donations to keep it's operation running. The non-profit depends on the generosity of the community to care for it's animals. If you'd like to donate to the Rome Humane Association you can send a check to:
Rome Humane SocietyP.O. Box 4572Rome, NY 13442
You can also donate on the website by clicking here .
The shelter says it sees cases of animal abuse regularly. Just a few weeks ago, they were caring for a dog who was thrown out of a car.
Last month there was an uproar over a three-year-old pit bull nicknamed "Apollo" who was found frozen to the ground outside a Utica bar in sub-zero temperatures. His owner was given 75 hours of community service on unlicensed and unvaccinated dog violations.