Dogs located at the breeding compound in Sprakers, N.Y., that became the center of a massive online protest this weekend will be temporarily removed from the facilities by order of a Montgomery County judge.
On Tuesday, the court heard a case of alleged animal neglect at Flat Creek Border Collies, where animal-rights activists say the owner had been keeping some 100 dogs outside in frigid temperatures with no adequate shelter. The Lexus Project, a local animal-rights group, filed for an emergency proceeding Monday after the New York State Police said visits to the breeding compound turned up nothing illegal -- this despite a local veterinarian’s determination that the plastic barrels being provided for shelter were “inadequate,” according to a report posted on Facebook.
On Tuesday, CBS 6 in Albany reported that a judge ruled that the adult dogs will be temporarily removed from the facilities until the owner renovates the property and provides better shelter. The breeder is reportedly being allowed to keep the puppies on the property but must bring them inside when the temperature drops below the freezing mark. ABC News 10 in Albany reported that about 40 dogs will be temporarily removed from the property.
On its Facebook page late Tuesday afternoon, the Lexus Project posted an update saying most of the dogs have already been removed:
“All but 4 adult dogs have been removed as of today. The 4 that are remaining have proper, insulated kennels and all other provisions that have been inspected. The puppies have all been moved inside and cannot go back out in the day unless it is over 32 degrees and in the evenings unless it is over 45 degrees.”
News of the dogs’ living conditions spread like wildfire on social media beginning last week, as animal-welfare advocates posted messages and photos asking concerned citizens to call local authorities and alert the news media. A Facebook page dedicated to helping the dogs has attracted more than 6,400 likes as of Tuesday afternoon.
Facebook users posted messages throughout the day eagerly awaiting news of the court hearing. When it finally came, many were happy that action was being taken, but some were not satisfied with the results. “Not good,” one person wrote. “Some progress, but dogs will only be removed temporarily and the puppies will only be brought in when it's below freezing. My heart is still aching.”
A second court date is set for Jan. 21. In the meantime, investigators tell CBS that they will continue to visit and inspect the property.