CLAVERACK — A 3-year-old pitbull mix found abandoned in Earlton in January has been adopted by a local family who will introduce her to her new home this weekend.
The Columbia-Greene Humane Society announced on Facebook on Sunday that Penny has been on the mend since she was found on Schoharie Turnpike suffering from mange, a canine skin disease, and infections related to the mange.
“We’re really happy with her progress,” Columbia-Greene Humane Society President Ron Perez said Monday. “We wanted to make sure her medical condition was rectified and her weight was up.”
Penny’s hair has been growing back and she was healthy enough to be spayed last week, Perez said. She’s been at the humane society for a little over a month, where she was housebroken and it was determined that she is friendly with other dogs.
“She’s gained some weight,” Perez said. “Her eating habits are wonderful; we’re happy with that.”
Penny has received plenty of medical attention for the mange and while the mange-causing mites have been destroyed, the disorder will always be with the animal, Perez said. Her new owners understand she might need ongoing medical care so the mange doesn’t get out of control again.
“They’re going to have to stay on top of it,” he said. “She could slip backwards, but she’ll never be as bad as she was.”
Penny’s new family visited the dog at the humane society on a weekly basis since they expressed interest in adopting her, Perez said. She met the family’s two other dogs and gets along well with them.
“She’ll be in a really, really positive environment,” Perez said.
The family’s name and address were not immediately disclosed.
Community members rallied behind Penny by mailing in contributions after she was rescued. Some children have donated money and food for the dog on their birthdays, Perez said.
“The community was wonderful,” he added. “We’re grateful — we had a lot of interest in adopting her.”
The dog’s former owner, Paul C. Bull, of Coxsackie, was arrested Jan. 16 and charged by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. Bull had a court date set for Feb. 5, but he requested an adjournment, Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said.
Prosecutors plan to schedule a new date and the case will be heard in Coxsackie Town Court.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t know how to care for an animal,” Stanzione said. “I have a little farm myself and taking care of animals is important.”
Calls have been coming into the District Attorney’s office from residents asking that Bull receive tougher charges, but the law dictates his charge is a misdemeanor offense, Stanzione said.
Typically, animal abuse offenders lose their right to own an animal after their case is closed. Local dog control officers check to make sure no animals are present in their homes, Stanzione said.
“We’re still getting more facts in on the case,” he said. “There are various things we can do — jail is not out of the question.”
The sheriff’s office is sending out a message to residents: Animals need care and feeding.
“If you’ve got to care for them, you’ve got to care for them,” Seeley said. “They get sick, just like humans do.”
If pet owners cannot afford to take care of their animals, they should bring them to the humane society rather than abandon them as Bull did, Seeley said.
“He did make attempts to go to the vet,” Seeley said. “He should have gone a couple of steps above [that].”
Seeley said he is happy Penny recuperated and that she will be going to a new home.
“No dog should ever have to live like that,” the sheriff said.
To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.